This Sunday, the 2021 Formula One (F1) World Championship kicks off at the Bahrain Grand Prix. The Alfa Romeo Racing team (the collaboration between Alfa Romeo and Sauber Motorsport) made of the proven Italian-Finnish pairing of Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Räikkönen will take to their new C41 cars and take on the world’s best. With strict new regulations put in place for this season, the Alfa Romeo Racing team looks to have their best chance yet to tackle the dominating Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, after ranking 8th out of the 10 F1 teams last season.
Both Alfa Romeo Racing drivers will be dawning suits with the GTA and GTAm names on them, representing the new 2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA and GTAm performance sedan. It is one way that the Alfa Romeo brand is saying thank you to Sauber for their added expertise in creating the new halo Alfa sedan.
Following the same guidelines that were followed for the 1965 Giulia GTA, Alfa Romeo engineers strove to improve aerodynamics and handling but above all to reduce the weight of the new Giulia GTA.
A new Sauber Areokit was designed for the Giulia GTA with active aerodynamics for added downforce. The Areokit includes an aggressive new front fascia, side skirts, active front splitter, new rear spoiler, as well as a new carbon-fiber rear diffuser with twin-titanium mounted center exhaust and tells you that the GTA isn’t your typical Giulia sedan.
If that isn’t enough for you, the GTAm (modified) variant is an extreme 100% “street legal” version of the GTA, characterized by two racing seats, a roll bar, and Sabelt 6-point safety belts. With a front splitter and larger visible rear wing in carbon, the GTAm is the ultimate expression of sportiness.
In the GTA version, with the same power, Giulia offers four seats, no rear roll-bar; spoiler and splitter optimized for daily use on the road; the same door panels, seats, and windows as those of the Giulia Quadrifoglio. The result is a veritable supercar for everyday use.
Under the hood, the aluminum 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 returns and gets a 30 horsepower boost to 540 horsepower for GTA duty. Alfa Romeo engineers also worked with Akrapovič (maker of the new titanium exhaust) to give the GTA its own distinctive sound. With a weight reduction of 221 pounds (100 kilograms) compared to the standard Giulia Quadrifoglio and the horsepower boost from its tuned motor, the GTA can hit 62 mph (or 100 kph) in just 3.6-seconds. That’s about the same time as the much heavier and more powerful 2021 Dodge Charger SRT HELLCAT Widebody. It lets the GTA achieve a best-in-class weight/power ratio of 6.2 lb/hp.
Both drivers have also actively contributed to the project development, by testing the GTA at the Balocco Proving Grounds. Räikkönen and Giovinazzi focused on the specific solutions taken up in terms of aerodynamics and handling, analyzing in-depth all the changes made to the car and giving an account of their feeling on the track to the engineering team, resulting in a joint assessment of the effects on vehicle dynamics to complete its fine-tuning.