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Graham Read
Formula 1 Correspondent
1:00 AM 10th February 2024
sports

Alpine, Visa Cash App RB, Silverstone And Sprint Weekends

 
The Alpine and Visa Cash App RB teams have become the latest Formula 1 entrants to reveal their new cars for the forthcoming season. There’s some great news about Silverstone for British F1 fans, and the Sprint weekend format is set to flow better.

(L-R) Alpine’s 2024 F1 and WEC contenders
(L-R) Alpine’s 2024 F1 and WEC contenders
On Wednesday afternoon, Alpine unveiled its new A524 F1 challenger at its Technical Centre in Enstone, UK, ahead of its fourth season at the pinnacle of world motorsport. The car represents a totally new concept for the next two seasons before the revised regulations arrive in 2026. Its title sponsor will still be the BWT Austrian water treatment company, with its pink corporate colour especially prevalent at eight 2024 rounds. Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly will remain as its French race drivers, supported by the outfit’s 21-year-old Australian reserve pedaller, Jack Doohan.

With Mick Schumacher, a former Formula 1 racer for Haas, driving the A424 Hypercar, Alpine also used the occasion to showcase its 2024 World Endurance Championship contender.

BWT pink will again feature on Alpine’s new A524
BWT pink will again feature on Alpine’s new A524
Meanwhile, yesterday evening in Las Vegas (early this morning UK time), it was the turn of Visa Cash App RB, which is Red Bull’s sister team, to launch its new contender. The outfit had been called AlphaTauri for the last four years, the name of a Red Bull-owned clothing brand, but the new title was finalised following meetings with Visa and Cash App during the Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend last November. The global Visa financial brand will also sponsor the main Red Bull team.

Last year’s AlphaTauri drivers, namely the Australian Daniel Ricciardo and Japan’s Yuki Tsunoda, will remain behind the wheel for Visa Cash App RB this season and were present at the glitzy launch in Las Vegas, which took place during the build-up to this coming weekend’s American football Super Bowl finale in the same city. The team, based in Faenza in northern Italy, is hoping to improve on its lowly eighth-place finishing position in last year’s Constructors’ Championship and is set to give its new car a first shakedown at the Italian Misano circuit on February 12.

The new RB car has a striking livery
The new RB car has a striking livery
On a different front, and at a time when so many countries and venues around the world are seeking a place on each year’s Formula 1 calendar, there’s been great news for British fans of the sport as Silverstone’s contract to host the annual British Grand Prix, which was due to expire this year, has been extended for a further decade. In short, this means that the future of this iconic race at a classic old-school circuit, which the drivers love, seems to be assured until at least 2034.

Also, a revised timetable for the six Formula 1 Sprint weekends in 2024 is set to be approved by the World Motor Sport Council meeting on March 28 in Bahrain. It is very much expected that on Fridays there will be a single free practice session followed by Sprint qualifying, and on Saturdays there will be the Sprint race and then Grand Prix qualifying, with the main event still set to follow on Sundays. This will represent an improvement on the scheduling used last season and has been agreed following discussions with all interested parties.

George Russell in action for Mercedes at last year’s British Grand Prix
George Russell in action for Mercedes at last year’s British Grand Prix
Next up comes a private shakedown test for the new Haas car at Silverstone on Sunday, with the nearby-based Aston Martin team set to reveal its new AMR24 car at the same venue just one day later.