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Bruno Famin and Pierre Gasly in conversation.

Alpine bring upgrades ‘one race earlier than planned’ in an attempt to change their fortune

Famin has revealed that Alpine has brought upgrades but only for "one car"

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Vice President of Alpine and Team Principal Bruno Famin has claimed that the French manufacturer “must do more” to catch up with the rest of the grid despite bringing upgrades in Japan and one in time for the Chinese Grand Prix.

Alpine mechanics push the Alpine F1 A524 Renault into the garage during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka International Racing...
Alpine mechanics push the Alpine F1 A524 into the garage during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka International Racing Course. (Photo by Song Haiyuan/MB Media/Getty Images)
A long way to go for Alpine

The all-French driver pairing of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly hasn’t gone according to plan so far. Neither driver has scored a point, and Gasly has failed to register a single overtake this season.

The A524 struggled with its straight-line speed, which led to difficulties when overtaking, leaving it far down the grid in qualifying and then in the race.

Despite Ocon progressing to Q2 last time out at the Japanese Grand Prix with the first new upgrade of the season, the former Force India stood no chance of scoring points as he dropped further down.

However, a new floor upgrade, meant for the Miami Grand Prix, has been brought forward a race and will be available for Ocon only, as his teammate has made to wait for another race.

Famin stated that their race in Japan made them realise how big of a challenge they have to return to the midfield battle.

As reported by Motorsport.com, Famin said:

“The last race in Japan underlined how big a challenge we have on our hands to improve our performance level.

“We must develop the performance of the car in order to fight for higher positions. While it was good to bring the first updates to the car in Suzuka, we must do more.

“The team has been working extremely hard, and we have been able to bring an upgrade to one car this weekend, one race earlier than planned.”

A lack of preparation with only one practice session

This season’s Chinese Grand Prix will mark the return to the Shanghai International Circuit for the first time since 2019.

Since F1 last landed in China, the cars have shifted technically, and the sport has undergone a whole set of regulation changes.

However, the race, being a sprint race weekend format, will only allow the teams one practice session to get used to the cars, while Alpine must get used to their new upgrades.

The Alpine boss claimed that the simulator at Enstone will help the team “be dialled in from the get-go”.

“The cars are completely different to the 2019-spec, so preparation has been different to normal,” Famin added.

“Matched with the fact it is a sprint event, we have less preparation and therefore it is crucial to be dialled in from the get-go. Both drivers were in Enstone last week on the simulator and putting the time in to be best ready for the challenge.”

 

Featured image: Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

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