Alfa Giulia GTAm undergoes F1 driver test

Manufacturer delivers exclusive footage of Räikkönen and Giovinazzi at Balocco proving ground

By Nic Cackett / Tuesday, October 20, 2020

We've touched on Alfa's working partnership with Sauber before. The firm's product marketing boss, Fabio Migliavacca, told us in back June to, "think about the Audi RS2 with Porsche motorsport [because] in a similar way, we're working with Sauber engineers" – when it came to the F1 team's input on the hugely anticipated Giulia GTA and GTAm. The fact that Sauber's engineering division was entrusted with the production of most of the carbon fibre addenda told its own implicit tale.

Now the manufacturer has pulled an even showier rabbit from its marketing hat with the involvement of Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi. It goes without saying that any 'real-world testing' conducted with road cars by Formula 1 drivers – especially when limited to 'a day' this late in development – is to be taken with a rear spoiler full of salt, but that doesn't prevent the video from being worth a watch (not least because anything which requires Kimi to toe the line in front of a camera is always good for a click).

Consequently, the famously enthusiastic Finn's declarative, "yeah it's okay", when asked to comment on the car's stability in fast corners is a highpoint (2.08, Kimi fans), especially as the meat of the video is all about detailing Alfa's far-reaching efforts to fettle the Giulia's aerodynamics for a significant improvement in track performance.

Of course, even teasing that much from the former world champion suggests the track-biased GTAm is right on the money. And it ought to be given the most advantageous part of working with Sauber is gaining access to their state-of-the-art Swiss wind tunnel. This is the facility that Alfa apparently used to hone the car's new aerodynamic components, particularly the manually adjustable front and rear wings, and that fully faired underbody.

There's a fair bit of manual adjustment occurring on tape – in its high-downforce configuration, the GTAm is said to deliver twice the lift coefficient of the GTA and three times what the standard Giulia Quadrifoglio summons up – although inevitably the team take it in the opposite direction for the Iceman, allowing him to access greater top speed at the manufacturer's famous Balocco test track.

By the end, Alfa Romeo Racing's drivers are dutifully impressed with an Alfa Romeo product ("I find them a perfect mix of everyday use and track use", deadpans Räikkönen) though the facts of the case remain irrefutable: the GTA and GTAm are indeed the result of a collaborative effort with F1 engineers, and the cost of accessing their assistance has been respectively set at €176,500 and €181,500. The time to find out whether or not they are objectively worth that amount is almost at hand. Unlike Kimi, we couldn't be more excited.

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