Welcome to the Alpine A521—without doubt the best-looking Formula 1 car yet revealed ahead of the 2021 season. Surely you agree.
With COVID-19 delaying the arrival of big changes to F1’s regulations until 2022, underneath that lovely new livery is an evolution of last year’s Renault R.S.20. The freshly rebranded team has been forced to make a few alterations, of course, mainly to the floor and the other aero parts in line with the FIA’s rule tweaks, but the car remains a known quantity.
Which is fine. The R.S.20 finished on the podium three times last year and helped Renault to fifth place in the constructors’ championship behind Racing Point (now Aston Martin) and ahead of Ferrari. The team promises it has improved every aspect of the car it’s allowed to within the rules in pursuit of more appearances in Q3 and, ultimately, more podium finishes and, with any joy, a win.
Besides the rebrand, the reason everyone’s going to be keeping an eye on Alpine is its driver lineup. Daniel Ricciardo has gone to McLaren, so Frenchman Esteban Ocon is joined by returning two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, who’s returning to the sport after a two-year break. Daniil Kvyat has also joined the team as reserve driver. Meanwhile Davide Brivio, Alpine’s new racing director, has joined from Suzuki’s MotoGP team.
Think we’ll see Alpine’s A521 on the podium when F1 returns at the end of this month?
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.