Williams, Alpine are latest to complete their shakedown/filming run at Silverstone circuit with their 2023 F1 cars.
While the Williams shakedown was something which was already announced during its launch, Alpine was a surprise for many when a video surfaced online of the new A523 at Silverstone circuit by a person presumably staying at the hotel.
Eventually Alpine confirmed of a shakedown/filming of the 2023 F1 car which is due to be launched on February 16 in London. Both Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly got the chance to drive the car, with the former going first completing nine laps in all.
Gasly took over to undertake eight laps as they both got their first taste of the new car. “It’s not until you get back out on track in a Formula 1 car that you realise how much you miss it,” said Ocon. “It was an honour to drive the A523 today and experience first-hand all the hard work and improvements that have gone into this car.
“A big thank you to all the women and men at Viry and Enstone for reaching this milestone and seeing the car on-track for the first time. The first lap is always a memorable one and I’m glad today went smoothly. We will show the A523 to the world this Thursday at the Launch and also on track in Bahrain next week.”
New teammate Gasly noted: “It’s a fantastic feeling to be driving again, especially in my new colours of Alpine. Today was about getting an initial feel for the car and it felt very good on the laps I drove.
“I know everyone at the team has worked tirelessly to develop the car over the winter and it’s a proud moment to drive it today and see everyone’s faces in the garage. I’m looking forward to the Launch on Thursday and then learning even more about the car at testing.”
And finally, the team’s technical director Matt Harman added: “It’s been another milestone ticked for the A523 today with our shakedown at Silverstone and I’m pleased the day ran so smoothly. Esteban drove first in the morning to check all the systems were working properly as well as completing the usual install programme for the car.
“Pierre was then in the car in the afternoon for the first time in the A523 and completed eight stable laps to get an initial feel in his new surroundings. These days are of course limited and not representative, but we’ve certainly had a great day and we now look forward to testing in Bahrain where we expect to continue our learning of the 2023 car.”
Over at Williams, Albon was the first to get a go in the new FW45 which was only seen for the first time in flesh after the launch spec was mostly the livery reveal. His new teammate Logan Sargeant then took over to complete the day. While their livery is dark blue, a photo of the garage showcased a lighter shade of blue of that of Gulf Oil.
First lap: Complete! ✅#WeAreWilliams @alex_albon pic.twitter.com/wG3iBV6iSo
— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) February 13, 2023
Here’s Alexander Albon on expectations
Here’s Dave Robson on Williams FW45
Here’s Logan Sargeant crediting Alexander Albon
Here’s Williams’ 2023 livery
Here’s Jack Aitken on bidding F1/Williams goodbye
Here’s James Vowles on what he can do to take Williams forward
Here’s Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon’s first shoot together
Here’s Laurent Rossi on expectation from Pierre Gasly
Here’s Otmar Szafnauer on power unit situation