Alpine sells for less than value: too many mistakes

GP Miami 2022

This year Alpine has a much better car than last season. But the French national racing team is not taking advantage of the opportunities enough. The team and drivers make a lot of mistakes in the area of ​​operations. Laurent Rossi, CEO of Alpine, is calling for a return to safe operations as usual.

Alpine earned 17 world championship points after five races last year. This season, after five Grand Prix, there are nine more races. With the exception of the Emilia-Romagna GP, Alpine has always scored double-digits, but never doubles. Herein lies the problem. The A522 is capable of more than its grades suggest.

In Saudi Arabia, Albin finished third in qualifying and also did well in the race. Fernando Alonso would have finished sixth. Until he said goodbye to the water pump. In Australia, the Spaniard was on his way to the second row of the grid. Until a faulty sealing ring in the engine oil circuit disconnected the V6 turbo from the gearbox and Alonso went off the track without the engine brake support.

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Esteban Ocon turned the Alps into a flare in his third training session.

Bad luck no excuses in the Alps

It’s the theme of the season. The Alps have a good car but they often get in their way. Are there more examples? At Imola, Esteban Ocon retired in Q1 because the gearbox started to strike. Alonso was unlucky in the race when Mick Schumacher tore the side box in the starting stage. Ocon went forward but threw a penalty kick for five seconds for an unsafe launch into the hole lane.

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The series continued in Miami. Ocon fired his A522 on the fender in third practice and missed qualifying. Alonso was stopped by compatriot Carlos Sainz in Q2. “We’ve been around Alfa Romeo all weekend,” Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi said, shaking his head and pleading with his team. “We think we could have finished sixth in qualifying ahead of Hamilton. Instead, we’re flying in the second quarter.”

“It’s not a matter of luck or misfortune. Hamilton sealed his promotion to Q3 on the first lap. If you wait like we did, you can’t complain about something going wrong. At the last minute, something can always happen in the track.” Racing has not been kind to Alonso too. It took five seconds to blow up Pierre Gasly. In the end, the old fox tricked himself, shooting through the pestle and getting five seconds for that as well. So I fell off the points.

CEO Rossi was upset with the hosts’ ruling in the second case. “It’s hard to swallow. Fernando brought back the lap time advantage. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a chance to provide a clue that would have exonerated us. We were confident Fernando would then retain his ninth place.”

Fernando Alonso - Alpine - Miami GP - USA - Formula 1 - Friday - 05/06/2022


Fernando Alonso has scored only once in five races.

Alpine works on tires

At least eighth place for Ocon, who started from the back after switching chassis, was a consolation. But four points are not enough for the claims of Alpine and the characteristics of the car. Rossi demands: “We have to return operationally to the level of 2021. We didn’t have the car, but we used our chances constantly.” In fact, Alpine thought it was pretty good in this regard, but it’s back to old styles this season.

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Construction sites are reliability and tire management. Alonso is already using the third engine, the Ocon II. The Alps wouldn’t pass without netting penalties. Tires cause problems in that they degrade very quickly. In Miami, Alpine especially worked to preserve the Pirellis for longer. The boss explains: “We worked on managing the tires in training. But you didn’t do 30 laps in a row. It’s practical. We’ll first have to do some races on different tracks so we can say that for sure. We’re making progress with the tyres.”

deeper and softer

The car is one of the most forgiving in the field. Alpine also works with higher ground clearance. Rebound is not as big of an issue as it is on Mercedes, for example. “We drive a little more aggressively and harder than we’d like. We drive well in high-speed cornering, but stiffness costs us in slow corners. Our goal is to reduce ground clearance and make the chassis softer,” says Alpine-team boss Otmar Saffnauer.

The Alps could be satisfied with the developments in the engine. Also in Miami it was confirmed that light blue cars performed with music. “We’ve taken a very good step forward with the engine. Ferrari is a little ahead of everyone else. But we are working well with Honda and Mercedes.”

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