Alpine chief Marcin Budkowski says Bahrain exposed their weakness, as they are now to bring an aero package for Imola F1 weekend.
Initially, Alpine attributed their slower pace against its immediate F1 rivals, to not having done fast runs, but gradually, in qualifying and in the race, it became apparent that their pace wasn’t too great at the Bahrain International Circuit.
While Fernando Alonso made it into Q3 and was fighting in the Top 10, but his race was undone due to sandwich paper. At the same time, Esteban Ocon didn’t look to be in the upper half, as his race was eventually went for a toss after he was spun around.
Ahead of this weekend’s Imola round, Budkowski admits that Bahrain exposed the weakness of Alpine. They are optimistic, though, with an updated aerodynamic package they are bringing, along with some test items to be run on Friday.
“Alpine left Bahrain feeling disappointed by not scoring points,” said Budkowski. “The Bahrain race weekend confirmed some of the weaknesses of our package, which we’re working hard to improve and gain the few tenths of a second that we are currently missing to fight at the front of the midfield.
“Both Esteban and Fernando did a good job over the race weekend, but suffered from adverse circumstances – Esteban in qualifying, Fernando in the race – so we’re aiming for a clean weekend to allow them to show their true potential. We have an aerodynamic upgrade package coming to the car for the coming Grand Prix.
“In addition, we have some test items to assess during Friday practice, which will help define further upgrades planned over the next few races. It will be interesting to see how our car performs on a different circuit, having only been to Bahrain for testing and the first race so far this season. It will also generate new data to help our development effort,” summed up Budkowski.
Not just the team but the drivers too are learning the Alpine A521 and wish to get on top of it as soon as possible. “I think we have to fight to score our first points of the season on Sunday,” said Alonso. “Let’s hope all our bad luck for the season was used up in Bahrain!
“We’re still learning lots about the car and I’m expecting that the setup here and, of course, the weather will be very different to what we experienced in Bahrain. It should be pretty close and a few tenths of a second could make up a number of positions.”
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