Alfa Romeo unveiled its 2023 Formula 1 car at a special launch event in Zurich on Tuesday morning.
Alfa’s C43 challenger, sporting a luxurious red and black livery, will be driven by Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu this year, with most of the development going to the rear of the car and the floorpan amid a change in technical regulations.
Both Bottas and Zhou were in Switzerland for the event and will drive the car for the first time in a shakedown at Barcelona, ahead of pre-season testing in Bahrain on February 23-25.
The first race of the 2023 season, the Bahrain Grand Prix, will take place a week later from 3-5 March.
“You always get excited [with the launch of a new car] and we are really lucky people to be driving these cars,” said Bottas, who is starting his second season with Alfa after leaving Mercedes after the 2021 season.
“It’s a privilege to see the car and then drive it. We have to achieve more and aim for the best and higher [this year]. We have to keep improving, more consistency, more points. Getting there is the tricky part.
Last year Bottas finished tenth in the drivers’ standings with 49 points, while Alfa took sixth place in the constructors’ championship.
As for Zhou, who took a point on his debut last year but struggled afterwards and was lucky to emerge unscathed after a scary crash at Silverstone, the Chinese driver is eager to get back into action after returning at home in Shanghai in the off season for the first time since before the Covid pandemic.
“I tried to disconnect completely during the holidays at home [in Shanghai]”, said the 23-year-old. “Coming back here, I was able to train hard thanks to the winter break.
“I have more understanding with the car and I feel more comfortable now. I was extremely honored to spend my rookie season with Alfa: I was very satisfied, but we have to keep working hard.”
It has been a busy off-season for Alfa Romeo/Sauber, with Andreas Seidl joining as CEO from McLaren after Fred Vasseur secured the top job at Ferrari.
Audi also bought a minority stake in Sauber ahead of their 2026 entry. This year will be the last season using the Alfa Romeo marque, ending a six-year partnership with Sauber.