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Alpine A524 Season Challenge

Tough Start for Alpine After Bahrain Tests

26/02/2024

Alpine F1 embarks on a risky yet necessary journey with the A524, aiming to surpass previous limits and embrace the new F1 era.

Pierre Gasly has already stated, “it won’t be an easy start to the season” for Alpine F1 with its brand-new A524 concept, but he asserted that taking the risk was necessary since they had reached the performance ceiling of the A522 and its evolution from last year, the A523.

Like Ferrari, Mercedes, or even Red Bull, Enstone has thus equipped itself with a new platform for 2024 and 2025, before the arrival of F1’s new era.

However, in terms of performance, the Bahrain tests resulted in a bit of a cold shower, with Bruno Famin, the director, conceding that the first races will undoubtedly be challenging in terms of results.

Gasly Faces Risks with New Alpine Concept

Gasly, who reiterated his goals of racing at the front of the grid eventually, understands the risks taken by the team.

“So far, the runs have gone smoothly, without any reliability issues, which is always important with a new car. But we are aware of the challenge we face. We’re entering 2024 with an entirely new car concept.”

“Essentially, we’ve only kept the steering wheel, so there’s a lot to learn, a lot to discover, a lot to explore, and also a lot to understand through all the aerodynamic testing we’ve done.”

When asked if there was more potential in the new Alpine, Gasly responded, “It’s too early to say.”

“We know that last year, we somewhat stagnated in terms of development and potential, so it was time to take a risk and try to close the gap to the cars in front of us.”

“Whether this will be the right choice, we’ll find out in the coming weeks. We know it won’t be an easy start to the season for us, but we also know that the upcoming weeks at the start of the year will be extremely important for us to develop and fight for points.”

Underperforming, does Alpine F1 fear losing its drivers?

Bruno Famin downplayed suggestions that Mick Schumacher would be the obvious choice if Alpine F1 were to lose one or both drivers by the end of 2024.

The Renault-powered team may have seemed the least effective of all during pre-season testing, raising major questions as the contracts of Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon are set to expire.

“There’s no pressure concerning the driver issue,” states the team boss.

“We are satisfied with the two drivers we have.”

But will Ocon and Gasly wait even longer for Alpine F1 to perform? Ocon, still tied to Mercedes F1, is well-regarded by Toto Wolff and thus a favorite to replace Lewis Hamilton in 2025.

“We have many options,” Famin responds. “Mick is already an Alpine driver.”

“But we are currently satisfied with Esteban and Pierre. No one knows exactly when the silly season (of transfer rumors) will really pick up again, but nothing has happened after the strong movements a few weeks ago.”

“If the next phase becomes really wild, we need to be able to react. We’ll be prepared for all possibilities.”

It seems that Jack Doohan, Alpine’s F1 reserve, is a better-positioned candidate, given he will have a significant testing program in 2024 – unlike Schumacher.

“There are no plans in that regard,” confirms Famin when asked if Schumacher would drive an Alpine F1 this year. “It wouldn’t work at all.”

“We already have a reserve driver in Jack Doohan. Mick is Mercedes’ F1 reserve driver. The contract we have with Mick is exclusively for Endurance racing.”

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