The brains at Alpine have been diligently working on upgrades to enhance its performance following a remarkable leap made by its close rival, McLaren. After introducing a new front wing at Silverstone, the team aims to regain its competitive edge and overcome the frustration of recent races where they faced a lack of pace and experienced consecutive double retirements in Britain and Hungary.
In the midst of these challenges, the team did experience a strong run in certain races. For instance, Esteban Ocon’s impressive performance saw him qualify fourth and finish third at Monaco. Similarly, Pierre Gasly showed great promise, securing the fourth-fastest time in Q3 during the Spanish Grand Prix, only to face a setback with a six-place grid penalty. Despite these flashes of brilliance, the team recognized the need for continuous development to stay ahead in the highly competitive Formula 1 landscape.
In their pursuit of upgrades, the Alpine team has chosen to release updates in stages, rather than in one comprehensive package. While this approach may not immediately reveal the full benefits, the team clarified that the new front wing was not dependent on the subsequent introduction of the new floor to be fully optimized. According to Alan Permane, the Alpine sporting director, the floor and front wing upgrades are independent but crucial steps to maintain downforce, enhance car performance, and achieve greater speed.
The recent successes of McLaren have not gone unnoticed by the Alpine team, as they admire the progress their rival has made since the start of the season. Despite the admiration, the team remains focused on their own development and aims to bring upgrades as swiftly as possible. The goal is to secure the fourth-fastest car status, and they are determined to keep developing their car model relentlessly to achieve that target.
Looking ahead, the team has plans for a substantial upgrade package scheduled for the Singapore Grand Prix. However, they also intend to introduce smaller upgrades, possibly for races like Monza, to maintain a competitive edge throughout the season.
Recalling a previous scenario, the team faced a challenge during the Baku sprint weekend when they introduced updates just before qualifying. Due to issues in the single FP1 session and heading into parc ferme, the setup wasn’t fully optimized. To avoid a similar situation, the team aims to be well-prepared for the upcoming Spa weekend, ensuring that their new floor upgrade seamlessly integrates into their car’s performance.Embed from Getty Images
Otmar Szafnauer, the team principal, expressed optimism that the new floor upgrade will not disrupt their performance at Spa. The team remains hopeful that the short period before the race will allow for a thorough assessment and analysis of the new component’s impact. The floor will be instrumented to measure its effect on downforce, helping the team make necessary adjustments.
As the Formula 1 season progresses, the Alpine Racing Team is committed to its development path, seeking to reclaim its competitive position and challenge its rivals on the grid. With careful planning and continuous upgrades, the team aspires to achieve its goals and make its mark in the world championship standings.