Alpine revealed their A523 at a glitzy London launch on Thursday night; Pierre Gasly replaces Fernando Alonso to partner Esteban Ocon this year; All cars have now been revealed, with pre-season testing live on Sky Sports F1 from next Thursday
Last Updated: 16/02/23 9:44pm
Alpine have drawn a spectacular close to Formula 1 launch season by revealing their striking new A523 car in London, with the team setting out their hopes to move closer to the sport’s top three this year.
The car will have a predominantly blue and pink livery for the majority of the season, but will run its pink model for the first three races in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Australia – similar to last season.
The final of the 10 teams to take the covers off their challenger before pre-season testing begins next Thursday – live on Sky Sports F1 – Alpine held a glitzy launch to present their car, their ambitions and a new driver in Pierre Gasly, who replaces two-time champion Fernando Alonso.
Gasly and team-mate Esteban Ocon form an all-French driver line-up for the French team – a luxury sub-brand of Renault – who go into their third season following the name change.
2022 was their most successful yet, with Alpine successfully overhauling McLaren as the fastest midfield team following the major rules overhaul.
“We are here for the long term,” said Renault CEO Luca de Meo. “I hope that we get closer to the top.”
Team boss Otmar Szafnauer added: “The gap to third was big and we’ve got to close that gap.
“We need less DNFs, more points, hopefully some podiums and a lot closer to third than we were in 2022.”
“We will soon get to where want to be, and that’s fight for world championships.”
The aim now will be to solidify that position – amid expectations Aston Martin will also join that fight – while also closing the gap to the fastest three teams, Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes.
Alpine, like most teams, say their A523 is an evolution of last year’s car, with upgrades expected through the season.
The team are powered by a Renault engine which – while having reliability issues last year – now appears just as quick as rival Power Units.
Pre-season testing is on February 23-25 in Bahrain before the season begins at the same track with the Bahrain GP on March 5. Testing – as well as every practice, qualifying and race session – will be live on Sky Sports F1.
Can Gasly fill Alonso’s boots at Alpine?
Alpine thought they would have Alonso as a driver for 2023. They then thought they would have Oscar Piastri. After a transfer saga that dominated the summer in F1, they ended up with Gasly. It may end up a genius move.
Gasly, after a stellar junior career, impressed at Toro Rosso before joining Red Bull, only to struggle alongside Max Verstappen – as many have done before and after him.
He was axed after just half a season with the F1 frontrunners before being sent back to the sister team, where he impressed and won his first race the following season for the now-AlphaTauri.
He has been a de-facto team leader since then and has now earned his move to Alpine, following in the footsteps of Carlos Sainz – now at Ferrari – in leaving the Red Bull family and joining Renaults.
Gasly and Ocon have had a fractious relationship – particularly hostile through their karting years – but the pair are now tasked with leading a French revolution of sorts.
“The livery looks fantastic – it really stands out – and I’m sure it’s going to look amazing on track,” said Ocon.
Gasly said: “It’s fantastic to be officially unveiled as an Alpine driver and I’m very much looking forward to this next stage of my career. I am eager to see the potential and capabilities of the A523 at pre-season testing and to continue getting more comfortable with the team.
“Experiencing the power of the A522 at the end of last season and seeing the developments the team is bringing for this year’s car has made me excited for what is to come with Alpine. It is great to see the dedication that everyone at Enstone and Viry applies to their daily jobs in consistently pushing forwards and I cannot wait to get started in helping the team to reach its objectives for the year.
“There is massive potential.”