Alpine is expecting a slow start to F1 2024 campaign after the three-day Bahrain Test, where they are in learning process of the new concept.

After a so-so F1 2023 season, Alpine decided for concept change and they did so for the 2024 season. But to kick-off the new year in the pre-season testing in Bahrain, it wasn’t the start that they would have hoped for considering the lack of pace.

But Alpine is not too surprised with the situation. Considering it is a new concept, they are expecting time to understand the car and extract performance. The three-day test was so-so for them eventually, they were quiet and doing their job, learning about the car.

With the new season upon us, Pierre Gasly knows it will take weeks before they can extract the performance. “It will take some weeks,” he said in the press conference. “It’s important to be objective about it when you start with a brand new car, can’t expect to figure things out in three days. It’s not going to be an easy first race, [we’re] not going to start from where we would have liked.

“But we’ve got to give ourselves some time to understand that new car concept. The good thing is we’ve identified very clearly what we’ve got to work on, as a team. Whether we’re able to fix it with car set-up for the first few races of the season, time will tell. But for sure there will be a pretty aggressive plan of updates which we’ll need to close the gap.”

“We just focused on ourselves, did our own programme without too much stress and conducted so many tests as we learn more and more about our overall car package. As I said, I expect it will take some time for us to unlock the performance we want from the car but that is no surprise given it’s a new concept.

“I’m remaining realistic. I know it will not be an easy start for us but what is most important is to keep identifying the key areas of work and to learn and progress. The good thing is we’ve identified very clearly what we’ve got to work on as a team. Now, whether we’re able to fix it with car setup or not, for the first few races of the season, time will tell, but for sure there’ll be an aggressive plan of upgrades which we will need to close the gap.

“It has been very clear with Esteban, we had very similar feedback straight away. It’s all about analysing whether we can fix these issues with set-up ahead of next week, or whether we need bigger upgrades to counter these couple of issues which we can identify already.

“So yeah, a lot of work. Still, it’s only three days of testing, it flew by. We’ll try to put the car in the best place possible for next week,” summed up Gasly, whose Alpine teammate Esteban Ocon concurred about their situation. He saw improvements from the first day to the final day which is a good sign of progress of understanding the car.

“The car improved from the first to the last day in testing, so we’re hoping to see similar improvements over the course of the race weekend,” he said. “We know what we’re working with heading into the opening race of the season, and we must extract the maximum from our package to give us the best possible chance of coming away with something from the weekend.

“It’s difficult to gauge the pecking order after such a short testing schedule, with teams running different programmes and fuel loads. We just focused on ourselves and gathered as much data as possible. The same also applies for this weekend in Bahrain. We know we’re entering this season slightly on the back foot with the new car concept and the team is working incredibly hard to bring more performance to the car in the coming races.”

Here’s all the details ahead of F1 2024 season

Here’s F1 2024 Bahrain Test stats

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