Alpine will introduce an aerodynamic upgrade and look to refine its development plans for the season at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix this weekend.
The former Renault team failed to score a point at the opening round in Bahrain, where Fernando Alonso reached Q3 but was forced to retire due to debris in his brake ducts. After seeing a bit of a deficit to the likes of McLaren and Ferrari, executive director Marcin Budkowski says Imola offers the opportunity to bring new parts in search of more pace.
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“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,” Budkowski said.
“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
“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. As a team, we have happy memories from our podium here last season, so it’s good to go back!
“We have an aerodynamic upgrade package coming to the car for this 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.”
Bahrain showed Budkowski where Alpine needed to improve, and is wasting no time with new upgrades set for this weekend’s round at Imola. (Charles Coates/Motorsport Images)
Explaining in more detail, Budkowski says the area of focus at the moment is on the outer edge the floor, where performance has been lost compared to 2020.
“There’s an area that’s changed in the regulations which is an area of development at the moment, which is obviously the side of the floor and the diffuser,” he added. “We’ve done some work at the test, some work (in Bahrain) and no doubt we’ll do some more work in the next few races. Everyone else will as well, it is an area which will change.
“We have a pretty decent upgrade package coming for Imola, so we’ll have some new parts and more performance on the car in Imola, and in general the first few races of the season we’ll have some new bits coming through.”