The first glimpse of Alfa Romeo’s 2022 Formula 1 car has taken place during a private test session at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track ahead of the official launch.
The car was dressed in a camouflage scheme that will likely be utilized for testing as well.
Valtteri Bottas, the new driver, was behind the wheel but wearing a black helmet as he completed the first circuits on the wet track in Italy soon before midday.
Alfa Romeo had not expected to make a formal announcement about the car until the first pre-season test in Barcelona, Spain, next week. Instead, the crew has scheduled a C42 launch event for February 27, two days after the first test concludes.
The team, on the other hand, has decided to undertake a shakedown of the car on one of its promotional filming days, which will provide crucial information ahead of official testing.
Alfa Romeo has done shakedowns in February before, in both 2019 and 2020, with a special Valentine’s Day livery.
The Swiss-based team has a whole new lineup for the 2022 season, including former Mercedes driver Bottas and Formula 2 graduate Guanyu Zhou.
For the 2022 season, Bottas and Zhou will replace outgoing duo Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi, and will try to revive the team’s fortunes after finishing ninth in the constructors’ championship previous year.
Due to funding from China, Zhou’s presence is expected to provide significant financial support to the Swiss-based team, allowing it to operate near to the budget cap. In December, team principal Frederic Vasseur told Autosport that he expected the team to have a “different approach” going forward.
For the 2018 season, the team has changed its name from Alfa Romeo Racing to Alfa Romeo F1 Team, and will continue to be sponsored by Orlen, the company that backs reserve driver Robert Kubica.
Alfa Romeo’s drive at Fiorano on Tuesday comes just hours before the Williams team unveils its 2022 livery during a season kickoff.