New Alfa Romeo F1 car hits the track in snakeskin livery

The new Alfa Romeo F1 car on track at Ferrari's test facility in Fiorano. Alfa Romeo

Kimi Raikkonen put the first 100km on Alfa Romeo's new Formula One car during a shakedown at Ferrari's test track, Fiorano, on Friday.

The new car, known as the C39, is not due to be launched until Wednesday next week, but Alfa Romeo revealed on Friday morning that it was taking part in a previously unannounced filming day.

Teaser photos on Instagram and Twitter showed a black snakeskin-style livery, which was a one-off for Friday's shakedown before the race livery is revealed at the car's official launch at the Circuit de Catalunya. The snakeskin pattern is inspired by Alfa Romeo's logo which features a giant serpent eating a red man and is based on the symbol of the influential Visconti family of 11th century Milan.

"Just as a moulting snake sheds its skin to grow, so will this livery soon need to give space to a new incarnation," a press release said. "When the covers come off the C39 on Wednesday next week, the snake will be gone, its skin shed to reveal a new, fresh look to tackle the challenge ahead."

Another feature of the one-off livery was the badge on the engine cover and nose of the car, which is in the shape of a heart -- a nod to the timing of the Fiorano test on Valentine's day.

From the photo it is clear the new car is an evolution of last year's C38. The team has continued with an extreme take on its inboard-loaded front wing design and similar sidepods to last year. Like fellow Ferrari engine customer, Haas, Alfa Romeo has modified its airbox design to mimic the triangular roll hoop Ferrari used last season and has continued with this year, although the C39 retains additional inlets at the top of the car.

Each team is permitted to hold two filming days per year in which they are allowed to run their car on track for 100km outside of F1's official race and testing schedule.

The Fiorano circuit is based across the road from Ferrari's Maranello headquarters, but the collaboration between the two teams via parent company FCA means Alfa Romeo -- which is based out of the Sauber facility in Switzerland -- chose the venue to put the first miles on its car before official pre-season testing next week.