Alonso got the ‘wow’ factor on final day of testing

Michelle Foster
Fernando Alonso in front of a picture of himself in testing. Bahrain March 2022

Alpine driver Fernando Alonso in front of a picture of himself in testing. Bahrain March 2022

Alan Permane believes Alpine have a handle on the porpoising issues with Fernando Alonso said to be much happier with his “fast” A522.

Putting all-new cars on the track this year, the Formula 1 teams spent a large part of the six days granted for pre-season testing trying to resolve their porpoising issues.

The new cars have a tendency to bounce up and down along the straights because they’re designed using ground effect aerodynamics to create the downforce. The faster the car goes, the more it bounces.

Alpine’s sporting director Permane says the team found a solution on the final two days of testing having figured out how to turn their porpoising on and off “whenever” they want to.

“The first day in Sakhir because we couldn’t get into a good dynamic, but the next two have gone well,” he told AS.

“Especially on Saturday, we started to make progress with a set-up that allows us to turn porpoising on and off whenever we want.

“We know why it happens and what stops it. We know when it makes us faster or slower.

“If you look at other cars, Ferrari still keeps it in some circumstances. We’ve played with the suspensions, the camber, slipstreams and so on. And we’re significantly better.

“We weren’t too worried, the performance was there and we were happy.

“I’m not sure people believed us, but we hadn’t panicked. Nothing has changed. I still don’t know what the order of the grid is, but I know we are there.”

Alpine were third quickest on the final day of testing, Alonso’s 1:32.698 a quarter of a second slower than the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc.

It was, however, almost a full second down on Max Verstappen’s pace-setting 1:31.720.

Alpine, though, did not go for a glory run with minimal fuel in Alonso’s car.

Fernando was still not entirely happy,” Permane said, “he wants to go faster and sees problems with the car. He is much happier now, of course.

“He had a high fuel load for much of the day, and then with the C3 he already felt the car fast, he said: ‘wow, this car is fast’. He was happy, he could feel the performance of the car.

“We did not put qualifying fuel, but a little fuel. When you start to get used to that level of grip and speed you find new problems.

“I wouldn’t say the drivers are ecstatic and expecting to take pole, but I hope we are in the fight, in Q3.”


Like many of their rivals Alpine will head to the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix with a few small updates for the A522, including a new floor.

“We have evolutions, parts of the floor, for Bahrain. There is a broad plan for the fourth or fifth race, when the first big package of improvements will come. But I am sure that we will have new things in all the races,” he said.


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Alonso got the ‘wow’ factor on final day of testing

Fernando Alonso felt the 'wow' factor on the final day of pre-season testing.