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First new 2023 car hits the track as Alfa Romeo begin C43 shakedown in Barcelona

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Alfa Romeo have become the first team to hit the track with their 2023 car, with the new C43 turning laps at a shakedown in Barcelona on Friday morning.

Valtteri Bottas – about to begin his 11th season in Formula 1 – was behind the wheel of the car in the morning, with team mate Zhou Guanyu taking it for a spin in the afternoon.

Alfa Romeo said the test went without a hitch and the C43 will be out on track on Saturday with both full-time drivers plus reserve Theo Pourchaire at the wheel for the second filming day.

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While Alfa Romeo go into the season with the same driver pairing as last year, it was a winter of change for the Swiss based squad. Team Principal Fred Vasseur moved to Ferrari, with Andreas Seidl coming over from McLaren to take over as CEO of Sauber, and Alessandro Alunni Bravi appointed to the new role of Team Representative.

There have also been some noticeable changes made to their race car, with the C43 being described as an “evolution” of last year's C42. Alfa Romeo revealed that they had overseen “a major change to the architecture” of the rear end of their car, and Bottas is hoping it brings better results this season, after their P6 finish last season.

“The debut of our C43 is a pivotal moment in our season: it marks the start of our on-track campaign and really drives home how close the season is," said Technical Director Jan Monchaux.

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"Today was important to ensure everything is in place, not just with the car but also with the wider team, ahead of what is going to be a crucial start of the championship. We have to thank everyone who worked on the car, and of course also our partners Ferrari, for getting us here. We are ready for testing and we can’t wait to get to work in Bahrain."

Alunni Bravi, Managing Director of Sauber Group and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Representative, added: “It’s a great moment to witness the first on-track outing of the C43, on an important TV day in which we created plenty of material for our partners and their activations.

“This is the final moment of a long process during which our car was thought, designed, created and assembled, and we take pride in the journey we have completed: it was made possible by the commitment, dedication and passion of everyone working in our HQ in Hinwil, and of our technical partners, first and foremost Ferrari.

"We know the challenges that lie ahead, but we are confident that, with this same attitude, this same hard work, we will be successful and make another step forward.”

After their shakedown in Barcelona is complete, Alfa Romeo will be heading to Bahrain for pre-season testing on February 23-25, ahead of the season-opening Grand Prix at the Sakhir venue, a week later, on March 5.

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