Alpine F1 technical director Marcin Budkowski has revealed the reason behind the new A521’s bulbous engine cover, which has drawn widespread comment from across the F1 paddock and beyond.
Quizzed on the mater at the team principal press conference in Bahrain, Budkowski revealed that a reworking of the car’s cooling system had prompted the outlandish look.
“It’s a technical choice,” he said. “We found that slimming the sidepods was a positive direction, which is nothing new really.
“So we’ve repackaged and relocated some of the bulky things in the car and put them behind the air inlet.
Immediate comparisons have been drawn between the Alpine A521 and Ligier JS5
Alvis Upitis/Getty Images
“Yes, it gives a fairly spectacularly bulky shape on the car, but we found it works for us.”
Budowski did concede the drawbacks of such a design, which has been compared to the Ligier JS5, amongst other things.
“There are centre of gravity compromises but usually the aero performance wins over weight and centre of gravity.