Alpine have huge advantage heading into 2023

Alpine have reportedly gotten the A523 under the minimum weight limit.

The current weight limit for a Formula 1 car is 798kg, a number which many teams are struggling to reduce to.

Red Bull famously started last season massively over the minimum weight and were not able to pull away from Ferrari in the championship until the managed to make the RB18 much lighter.

Alpine are now the first team to publicly state that their new car, the A523, is currently under the weight limit, meaning that they can take advantage of ballast weight.

Ballast weighting is where the teams add extra weight to the car deliberately in certain areas to increase performance and optimise weight distribution, something which is not possible to do when the car is already overweight.

READ: ‘I know I shouldn’t’: Red Bull engineer praises Mercedes W14

Being able to tactically add weight is something that Alpine technical director Matt Harman has suggested will massively benefit the team, having been fixated on the weight of the A523 since last season.

“We’ve had a very aggressive weight reduction programme,” he told Autosport. “And it’s really pleasing to be able to say that the car will be underweight this year.

“We will have ballast in the car, and we will be moving it around to optimise that weight distribution, which is a fantastic performance tool for us and out trackside engineering teams.

“It was quite a strategy there. We actually stopped trying to take weight out of last year’s car to focus on this year’s car, because there does come a point in the season where it’s not cost-effective to do so. So we put a lot of engineering effort into that.

Article continues below

READ: Mercedes mocked for embarrassing W14 blunder

“And yeah, we’ve taken a large number of kilograms off the car, which now gives us a nice ballast number that we can use for weight distribution. So that’s very good.”

The majority of the liveries that have been released for 2023 feature a lot more carbon black than last year, with many fans suggesting that this is to save weight, with paint even contributing to the car’s overall weight.

With Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon in the car, this ballast news makes Alpine’s 2023 prospects even more exciting, with many expecting the team to be sporadic podium contenders.