Recording a double DNF at the United States GP, Marcin Budkowski says what “could go wrong did go wrong” for Alpine.
With Esteban Ocon starting from 11th place on the grid, Alpine had expected points for at least one driver at the United State GP, the team acknowledging before the race that it would be harder for Fernando Alonso, P19 due to an engine penalty.
Ocon’s race was undone early on in the 56 laps when he was forced into a front wing change after the team found there was damage to the front of his A521 following contact at the start.
Down in 17th place, he retired on lap 40 with a problem to the rear of his car, the team parking him as a precaution.
Meanwhile his team-mate Alonso was trying to make a charge towards the top ten only to join Ocon back in the garage as a result of a damaged rear wing.
— Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) October 24, 2021
“Pretty much everything that could go wrong did go wrong during this weekend,” Alpine executive director Budkowski said.
“Esteban started in eleventh position on the mediums and scoring a few points seemed a very achievable target.
“Unfortunately, he was hit by Giovinazzi in the first lap and suffered front wing damage, which forced us to stop to change it.
“From that point onwards his race was heavily compromised. There was not much to fight for, and as we suspected a problem on the car we decided to retire him as a precaution.
“Fernando drove a brave race starting from the back and we tried everything to sneak into the top 10, pushing very hard and taking risks, and trying a different strategy to build a tyre advantage towards the end.
“As we were closing in rapidly on the cars in front, we had a rear wing issue that robbed us of an exciting finish.”
He added: “We have lots to reflect and improve on after this weekend and we will be working hard ahead of the next batch of races.”
Alonso revealed Alpine will investigate his rear wing issue as it was unexpected, and as yet the team has no idea how or why the wing broke.
He said: “As we were pushing towards the end of the race the rear wing broke on the penultimate corner and I looked in the mirror and it was visibly damaged, so we had to retire the car.
“We need to analyse it because at the moment we’re not sure why it happened.”
Alpine remain P6 in the Constructors’ Championship, the team 10 points ahead of AlphaTauri.