Pierre Gasly was surprised by Alpine’s technical changes at the onset of F1 2024, as Bruno Famin expanded on the need for it.

With extensive changes seen during the course of the 2023 F1 season, Alpine had further on the onset of the 2024 season with three key departures. Matt Harman and Dirk de Beer were announced to have left, while Bob Bell moved to Aston Martin.

To fill-up for them, Alpine created three roles where the Engineering side is headed by Jeo Burnell, the Aerodynamics side by David Wheater with Ciaron Pilbeam and Eric Meignan remaining as Performance and Power Unit heads, respectively.

The changes did come as some surprise for Gasly where he and or teammate Esteban Ocon did not wish to conclude the outcomes just yet. “I think time will tell really, it’s not really up to me right now to say whether it was a good or bad thing, it was their decisions,” said the former when asked about the current situation.

“It comes at a time obviously where we clearly underperformed, I trust in Bruno, in Luca, in the people in charge to bring the team forward, as I said I now it’s contradictory but there is a lot of positive change going on inside the team. It kind of feels a bit unfair for all the guys working in the background and seeing the performance which doesn’t really reflect on all the efforts going on, but that’s the sport, time will tell.

“The example, in terms of operation, the processes, the mentality and self-reflection we have on ourselves, in the studies and feedback and the work we’re doing. We’re going more into details and trying to really find the last per cent out of everyone, and people are appreciative of that process, and I do see the positive change.

“It doesn’t mean we go two-tenths faster on the race track now as the car doesn’t provide us the grip we need, but mid to long term it’s definitely the direction we’ve got to head to as a team. Regarding changes, it’s always a surprise because I’ve been quite close to also Matt coming inside the team, trying to understand a bit the philosophy, understand the changes we’ve made on this new car, yeah, so obviously comes as a bit of a surprise.

“I obviously knew it slightly before, but at the end of the day I focus on my business, I’ve got to drive the car fast, push the team forward, give them clear feedback, and that’s where my energy goes to and at the moment it needs quite a lot of energy. Everyone’s disappointed but what I like to see is no one is down, everyone wants to see the end of the tunnel, everyone is working on their own bit and trying to improve as much as they can – in the garage, ops room, engineering room, or back at the factory, I feel more united than we’ve ever been and in this situation.

“It’s more important to stick together and move in the same direction, I do feel everyone is pushing to improve, but Formula 1 it does take time, as much as I hate it because I’m fighting time my entire life, on the race track and off the race track, but I’ll have to be patient,” summed up Gasly.

Teammate Ocon added: “I think the restructuring when we are not working exactly where we want to be is obviously a thing that should help us to move forward. I trust the process that we are going into and we’ll see where that leads us. We’ve kept in touch obviously with the engineers in between where we were resting and training, getting ready for this weekend.

“We obviously had a few more ideas on where we need to improve the car. We’re all in the same boat in the end. We are obviously all not happy where we are, it’s a frustrating time, that’s very clear. But if we take ourselves down it’s going to be an even tougher time. No one’s happy about and we will keep pushing all together to elevate the team forward and to be where we should be.”

The results have shown thus far the problems that Alpine has and the uphill task of recovery. The main trouble as highlighted is lack of traction but Alpine chief Famin is optimistic about steady development. He explained the need for further changes that they did and how the change of mindset is ongoing.

“We really want to bring to the factories what we have done on the track side by the end of the last season,” he said. “I mean changing the mindset, unleashing the creativity, and having three technical directors makes the organisation much more horizontal, much less vertical. More activity, more agility, and the motto is really to develop our people.

“We have very talented people and we want them to bring as much as they can to the project, to the team, to the company. Regarding the affects of changes, it will be for both, because we have a new car with A524. There is potential in this car. We have something coming for sure, but we also need to change our way of developing the car, maybe racing the car as well. We need to change really our approach, our general approach on everything we will learn on A524 will be very helpful for developing the A526 for sure.”

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