Alpine’s goal for 2023 is to try to be closer to the three top teams. And in part it succeeded, having a smaller gap from last year than in 2022 towards the third team, in this case Mercedes. Yet in Enstone the faces are far from relaxed.
The A523s have shown that they have more gaps than expected and, another fact, there are not only 3 teams ahead of the French team, but 4. Beyond the elusive Red Bull Racing, there are Mercedes, Ferrari and the surprise of this start of the season: Aston Martin, which proved to be the second force in the first 2 GPs of the season.
To photograph Alpine’s situation is Alan Permane, sporting director of the transalpine team, who candidly admitted that he is further behind than forecasts and with respect to the objectives that the team has set itself for 2023.
“We are not satisfied with not being where we would like to be in terms of pace, we would like to be a little faster, to fight with them. I think we are closer to Ferrari and Mercedes than last year. I have not yet analyzed the situation. I’m sure we’re closer to Ferrari, because at this time last year they were battling for the win. Obviously, Aston have made a huge leap and we’re the fifth fastest team, which isn’t where we want to be. “.
Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523
Photo by: Alpine
The A523s have already finished in the points, but both Esteban Ocon and newcomer Pierre Gasly have complained about several aspects of the car. We don’t like braking, but even out of corners the single-seaters that will return to being blue from the Australian Grand Prix have deficits that need to be resolved.
“I honestly don’t know where our shortcomings are. I think they are everywhere. The riders want better braking, they also want better traction. There is no real area where they complain in detail. truth is that we have to improve everywhere”.
“As you know, our goal was to get close to third place in the Constructors’ World Championship, but that’s not the case at the moment. Or rather, it actually could be, because if Mercedes is the third fastest team, we are closer to them than last year . But not enough”.
In 2022 Alpine started in almost the same way: a good single-seater, but not very reliable at the time. What made the team’s last World Championship excellent was the ability to constantly develop the single-seater then entrusted to Ocon and Fernando Alonso. This year the team will rely on its ability to produce innovations in a short time and on the excellent correlation between simulations and the track.
“We’re not where we want to be and I think Aston Martin has taken everyone by surprise with the leap they’ve made. It looks like no one can get close to Red Bull this year, they look like they have a second per lap lead over their closest pursuers. Honestly it’s frustrating”.
“We just have to keep working hard and making improvements, increasing the downforce. Keeping working hard worked really well for us last season, we brought a lot of new things and we have a good correlation. So we can be sure that the parts and the updates we bring will work on the car. We just need to improve it at a faster pace than the others,” concluded Permane.
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