Alpine feeling ‘bitter’ over enforced wing changes

Date published: July 7 2021 - Finley Crebolder

Fernando Alonso, Alpine

Alpine feel “bitter” about having to change their rear wing, saying that they’re being punished for a squabble between the two top teams.

Earlier this season, Mercedes took issue with the flexible rear wing that Red Bull had fitted on their car, and it resulted in the FIA introducing stricter measures and testing on the part for each team.

In response, a number of teams, Alpine included, had to make changes to their rear wings to ensure that they remained legal.

Marcin Budkowski, the team’s executive director, says he and his colleagues aren’t too happy about this and feel like they’re “collateral damage” of the title fight.

“We’re still untangling some rear wing modifications from the famous technical directive, which to be honest we feel a bit bitter about,” he said in Austria as per Autosport.com.

“It’s taking us a huge amount of resource in effort and money, because we’re talking about several rear wings, several downforce levels, that need to be changed.

“We feel a bit like the collateral damage of the guys fighting for the championship at the front, and trying to throw banana skins under each other’s feet, if you want, by looking for issues with other people’s cars.

“We designed our wings to the regulations. They were fully legal. We passed all the FIA tests, all the homologation pre-season and during all the events so far.”

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Making such a change to both cars costs a considerable amount of money, and it comes at a time when teams are trying to cut costs with the budget cap being introduced and only getting stricter going forward.

Indeed, Budkowski says the money Alpine have spent on the changes is money that would have been invested in next year’s machinery, and that their 2022 budget is now smaller as a result.

“We’re spending now huge amounts of resources and money to change rear wings to new tests that were introduced in season, that effectively change very little performance of our car,” he added.

“It’s costing us money and resource we could invest in next year’s car.

“We understand the FIA is allowed to change these tests any time they want to in the regulations, but the impact on a team of our size is very big.”

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