Alpine confirm further upgrades for Paul Ricard

Henry Valantine
Alpine pair Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon. Austria July 2022.

Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer has confirmed the team will take a further upgrade to the A522 to their home race, the French Grand Prix.

There have been encouraging signs for Alpine in recent races, with Fernando Alonso having put his car on the front row of the grid in a wet qualifying session in Canada before further upgrades were installed and Esteban Ocon finished fifth in Austria last time out.

Alonso also made his way from the back of the pack to finish in the points, despite having to take an extra unexpected pit-stop which he felt saw him throw eight points “in the bin”.

But in spite of that, their recent form has seen Alpine pull level with McLaren in the Constructors’ Championship standings, battling with the Woking team to be ‘best of the rest’ behind Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes.

The improvements brought to the A522 so far have worked as planned therefore and more are coming – and will continue to do so until the team reach their budget limit.

“It’s very encouraging,” Szafnauer said of the team’s recent upgrades, quoted by the French edition of Motorsport.com.

“We said at the beginning of the year it would be all about that. The learning curve in the wind tunnel is still very steep so we must take advantage of that, keep bringing performance to the car. So we’ll keep doing that until we don’t have the money.

“We have a small [upgrade]…well, hopefully not so small! We don’t have a whole new floor but part of it will have evolved in France.”

Ocon will head to his home race on a high after his top-five outing in Austria and he praised the work the team have done to bring them towards the upper end of the midfield battle.

He admitted there is still work to do in keeping their competitiveness up at every race weekend other than in flashes, but moving towards Mercedes remains the goal for him.

“It’s very positive and we are very happy to see what we brought to Silverstone has made a difference,” Ocon said.

“You can really see it now. And I hope the next ones will be just as important. We still have work to do to be as good as Mercedes because they are still too fast. So if the team can bring more things, we’ll take it.

“We still have some work to do in terms of consistency. I sometimes felt we didn’t have the pace we could expect. But this weekend (Austria) was perfect in that respect.

“There is still a learning curve for us to be consistently good at this level. But clearly, this weekend was one of those when we optimised everything.”

 

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