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Alpine F1 Winter Testing 2024

Alpine’s Uphill Battle: Gasly Remains Hopeful

27/02/2024

After a challenging winter test, Alpine F1 and Pierre Gasly aim for improvement, emphasizing time and teamwork to address identified weaknesses before the season’s start, despite a lack of detailed performance disclosure.

Alpine F1 appeared less than optimal during winter testing, but Pierre Gasly is not ready to divulge details about the team’s performance yet. The French driver is glad that weaknesses have been pinpointed and now wishes to afford his team time to address them.

“It will take a few weeks,” Gasly stated. “Being objective is crucial when starting with a brand new car; you can’t expect to grasp everything in three days.”

“The first race won’t be easy; we won’t be starting from where we had hoped. However, we need to give ourselves time to understand the concept of this new car.”

“What’s positive is that we’ve clearly identified what we need to work on as a team. Time will tell if we can address these issues by adjusting the car for the season’s first races. But there’s definitely a fairly aggressive plan for updates that we’ll need to bridge the gap.”

No “goal in terms of results”

Bruno Famin, the team director, refuses to set a goal in terms of results but prefers to aim for a functional objective for the Alpine team.

“Our goal this year will be to create the right momentum and improve both the car and the team, the entire team, not just on the track, much more than setting a goal in terms of the final result, championship position, or podiums,” Famin articulated.

“What we really need is that momentum. The car is what it is today. The important thing is to be able to develop it with the team and the factories, Viry, Enstone, trackside, everyone, pushing for improvement.”

Famin aims to initiate a cultural change within the team to instill a new way of working and enhance team efficiency.

“We need to improve everything. We have to get the best out of everyone, every guy or girl in the team, to unleash energy, creativity. It’s a kind of cultural change we need to implement – simplify processes, be more efficient, move faster. Our goal is to compete with the top teams as soon as possible.”

“Everyone will have the necessary money to spend the entire budget cap, and the most efficient team is most likely to lead. So, we need to work a lot on the team’s efficiency and creativity, and it’s a dynamic that we need to establish in the factories.”

“Reducing weight is always a challenge”

The A524 is not below the minimum weight, which would have allowed for balancing, and Famin admits it’s an endless quest: “We don’t yet know exactly what it is. It needs better analysis. But weight is always a factor. When you’re overweight, you need to be underweight.”

“When you’re underweight, you need to manage the ballast in the right place. And even when you’re underweight, you still need to add weight to improve weight distribution. So, reducing weight is always a challenge.”

The Frenchman remains hopeful that Alpine will compete at the front of the pack but is uncertain about the outcome. He emphasizes the numerous novelties of the A524, even though this was also the case last year, and that Alpine is not the only team bringing many evolutions this year.

“There’s a lot to learn, for sure. The car is new from front to back: the chassis is different, the suspension is different, the aerodynamics are different. We wanted to try to improve the previous car’s weak point. Let’s wait until next week to see if we are on the right track.”

Gasly Realistic Yet Eager for F1 2024 Opener in Bahrain

Just like his boss Bruno Famin, or his teammate Esteban Ocon, Alpine F1 driver Pierre Gasly does not expect miracles for his team at the opening round of the 2024 season this weekend in Bahrain.

The Frenchman is eager for his second season with Team Enstone, which he has meticulously prepared for, both physically and mentally.

“It’s always a unique feeling to be on the brink of a Formula 1 season. I remain incredibly excited, as this is the moment when all the talk and expectations come to a halt. We hit the track to resume competition. I’m in top physical and mental shape. I’ve had an amazing off-season and feel ready to tackle the challenge of this twenty-four-race campaign in my second year with Alpine.”

However, this motivation is coupled with a realistic mindset.

“We experienced three intense days of testing last week. We simply focused on ourselves, executing our own program without too much stress, and conducted numerous tests as we learned about our entire package. I think it will take some time to unlock the performance we expect from the car, but that’s not surprising given it’s a new concept. I remain realistic. I know our start won’t be easy, but the most important thing is to continue identifying key areas for work, to learn, and to progress.”

Gasly, in any case, loves racing in Bahrain, which he considers an excellent track for the show.

“Sakhir is an excellent circuit for racing, and I think we even had a reminder of that last week during testing! There are several places to overtake, so it’s generally an exciting event for us drivers. Last year, I scored points after a very good performance on Sunday for my first start with Alpine.”

“Obviously, scoring points is always the natural goal, and we’ll see how this weekend unfolds. I’m clearly happy to line up on the grid again and to seize any opportunity that comes my way.”

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