Since we found out that BWT is returning to F1 as a title sponsor, this time for Alpine, we were fully expecting to see the return of pink cars like we did with Racing Point. Considering that the new Williams FW44 has become entirely blue for 2022, it would have made sense for Alpine to be more visually distinctive. But the unveiling of the Alpine A522 surprised us with the livery design.
The A522 too features a visually distinctive design. Its nose looks sleek and rounded like that of the Mercedes W13, the front wing follows a different shape to what has been seen from the other team reveals, the rear wing seems to be flatter as well. The side-pods are wide and narrow with the engine cover looking boxier than some of the other designs we’ve seen so far. While we’ve already seen two approaches to louvres on the pods and engine cover from Aston Martin and Ferrari, Alpine has showcased another take on the same design element.
Let’s talk about the livery now, the mix of elegant blue and BWT pink. It is certainly a striking combination with blue as the dominant colour and pink seen on the top surface of the wings, and on the sides of the car. Additionally, Alpine will be running a predominantly pink livery for the first two races of the season, which is somehow easier on the eyes than the blue and pink combo. There is no design detailing on the all-black aero discs or the new fender-flicks over the front wheels.
One of the big additions to the Alpine F1 squad for the 2022 season was the appointment of Otmar Szafnauer as the Team Principal. He had a long and impressive stint at the Force India/Racing Point outfit where he’d previously worked with one of Alpine’s current drivers, Esteban Ocon. Otmar will be working with newly promoted Chief Technical Officer Pat Fry, formerly with McLaren F1. The team has also retained one of its critical assets in Fernando Alonso, who used the 2021 season to remind everyone that age is just a number with stunning performances across the year including a podium result. The lineup is strengthened further by 2021 F2 Champion Oscar Piastri as the team’s reserve driver.
Alpine continues to be the only team on the grid using a Renault F1 engine and the new powertrain is called the Renault E-Tech RE22. The French outfit has continued to improve on its pace over the last few years, especially in terms of achieving straight-line speed. While it has rarely caught up to the likes of Mercedes or Red Bull, it has consistently fought for its spot in the middle-order against McLaren and Ferrari. With the Italian reds expected to return to title-contending ways in 2022, Alpine’s closest rivals will likely be McLaren, Aston Martin and AlphaTauri for fourth or fifth in the constructor’s standings.
What do you make of the new Alpine A522? How many races do you think it will take to see Alpine on the podium in 2022? Is there a chance to see Alonso on the top step? Share your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to the Auto Loons for more F1 updates and news about cool cars.