Alpine next to pencil in launch date for A522

Mark Scott
Esteban Ocon drives his Alpine during the Turkish Grand Prix. Turkey October 2021

Alpine have followed hot on the heels of AlphaTauri by also announcing their launch date for the 2022 season – February 21.

The Enstone team are set to be part of one of the later launches, with February 21 just two days away from the first pre-season test getting underway at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.

Alpine’s announcement means there are just four teams left to book their spots in the pre-season diary.

F1 2022 launch dates:

Aston Martin: February 10
McLaren: February 11
AlphaTauri: February 14
Ferrari: February 17
Mercedes: February 18
Alpine: February 21
Red Bull: TBC
Williams: TBC
Alfa Romeo: TBC
Haas: TBC

Alpine are currently undergoing another major structural change following the recent departures of executive director Marcin Budkowski and special advisor Alain Prost.

Rumoured to be coming into the Alpine set-up is Otmar Szafnauer, who has left Aston Martin and was strongly linked to Alpine in the second half of the 2o21 campaign.

There are also reports that Aston Martin design chief Andrew Green could also be following Szafnauer to Alpine, too.

Even though the 2021 season included a victory for Esteban Ocon at the Hungarian Grand Prix and a podium for Fernando Alonso in Qatar, Alpine were still some way cut adrift by finishing P5 in the Constructors’ Championship.

Nevertheless, Alonso thinks the team are in better shape now for a more productive and successful 2022.

“We are still not on top of all the problems, but everyone will have a different opinion,” he said as per The Independent.

“Obviously with experience working for different teams, I could see some things that we were weak, other areas we were very strong. You try always to make the team stronger and stronger, and more prepared into 2022.

“I think we are in better shape now than what we were in March, in Bahrain, but still a few things I’m sure that we’ll have to fix.

“I think we need for sure to close the gap on the engine, that’s why there is this new project, and also we need to close the gap on the aero performance.

“It’s difficult to know what is the gap, so at the moment there are only hopes but I understand that these hopes are for everybody. It’s not only to us, and it’s a completely unknown territory what we will find [this] year.”

 

Aston Martin exodus to Alpine?

Andrew Green could be joining Alpine if Otmar Szafnauer also makes that move.