Szafnauer, Alpine’s team principal, is urging his squad to maintain their effort to introduce new components to the circuit in the forthcoming races as they strive to regain position in the constructors’ standings.
Following a hopeful streak, including a third-place finish in Monaco, Alpine’s rank has regressed in recent contests, even though the newly debuted front wing at the British GP demonstrated potential.
At Silverstone, the blue team’s cars struggled at the lower end of the top 10, with Esteban Ocon retiring due to a hydraulic pump malfunction and Pierre Gasly bowing out following a collision that led to suspension damage.
Currently, the team ranks sixth in the championship, falling behind McLaren.
The aspiration is to fully harness the new front wing’s potential as more components are brought in during the next couple of events, particularly a new floor to be showcased in Belgium.
Szafnauer stated, “We’ve had successful upgrades this year and there’s a substantial one on its way before the break. I’m eager to see the results of our next one.” He further added, “While there is an upgrade slated for Hungary, it’s not that significant. Then there’s a floor upgrade in Spa. When you combine all these, I believe we should perform well.”
Szafnauer emphasized that the team still has room to bring in new components to the circuit in the upcoming months within the cost cap. “We have sufficient leeway from a cost cap perspective, but from an aerodynamic testing restrictions (ATR) viewpoint, we need to decide the extent of the compromise between the ’24 car and the ’23 car.”
He expressed a preference for continuous upgrades on the current car, given there won’t be any rule changes for 2024, meaning any work done for the next season could be expedited if it makes sense.
He further elaborated that the real constraint isn’t the budget for component creation, but the capacity to implement them in time to influence the season’s final races. “There’s a limited time window between a breakthrough in the tunnel and applying it to the car,” he explained. “By the time you realize it, it’s easy to understand why development has halted – any progress found will be applied to the car around Christmas, after the racing season has concluded.”
Regarding the compromise, he stated: “We usually begin considering it around the break. We’re currently focused on the ’23 car. After the break, we’ll reassess. A substantial package might still be worthwhile for the final three races, but if it’s mid-September plus a couple of months – then it’s not worth it.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Alpine F1 Upgrades
What significant upgrades is Alpine’s F1 team planning before the summer break?
Alpine’s F1 team is planning a significant upgrade to the front wing and the floor of the vehicle. The front wing has already shown potential in recent races and the team hopes to fully harness its potential with more improvements. A new floor is also expected to be introduced at the event in Belgium.
Who is leading the push for these upgrades at Alpine?
Otmar Szafnauer, the Team Principal at Alpine, is leading the push for these upgrades.
What issues has the Alpine team been facing in recent races?
In recent races, Alpine has faced some challenges including hydraulic pump failure and suspension damage due to a collision. These issues have led to the team slipping down in the constructors’ championship ranking.
Where does Alpine currently stand in the F1 constructors’ championship?
As of now, Alpine is sixth in the F1 constructors’ championship, having fallen behind McLaren.
Is Alpine facing any financial constraints in introducing these new upgrades?
No, according to Otmar Szafnauer, the team has enough financial headroom within the cost cap to bring new parts to the track. The limiting factor is not the budget, but the ability to introduce the parts in time to have an impact on the last few races of the season.