Alpine banking on ‘significant’ upgrade with Ferrari firmly in their sights

Michelle Foster
Esteban Ocon blurred pit stop. Azerbaijan April 2023

Alpine driver Esteban Ocon blurred pit stop. Azerbaijan April 2023

Point-less at the British Grand Prix before recording a back-to-back double DNF through a first-lap collision in Hungary, Alpine will line up on the Spa grid this weekend with a “significant” upgrade for the A523’s floor.

It’s one the team hopes will put them back into contention with McLaren, who have surged ahead in recent races, with the end-of-season target still P4 in the championship.

Although Alpine arrived at the British Grand Prix with a new front wing, Pierre Gasly P10 on the grid, neither driver saw the chequered flag.

Alpine rule new floor a ‘very significant step for us’

An oil leak forced Esteban Ocon to retire his car while a hard hit from Lance Stroll late in the race put an end to Gasly’s chances of scoring points.

A week later it was more of the same, this time crash damage from the opening lap melee, putting both drivers out of the race.

With McLaren going onto score their second P2 in as many races, Alpine left Budapest trailing the Woking team by 40 points having been 27 points ahead after the Canadian Grand Prix. In the three races since Alpine have scored three points, McLaren have amassed 70.

But while McLaren effectively threw a big upgraded package on the car, split over two races, Alpine have opted for incremental pieces. So much so sporting director Alan Permane says it takes time for the full effect to be felt out on track.

“The floor is independent of the front wing,” Permane told “It’s important because we need to keep putting downforce on the car and moving forward and going faster, basically.

“So it’s very important. It isn’t linked to the front wing, but it’s a very significant step for us.”

The Briton reckons rather than be disillusioned by McLaren’s leap forward, Alpine are drawing inspiration from their Woking rivals but are by no means focused on McLaren’s gain.

“McLaren have done an incredible job,” he said. “Hats off to them, honestly. If you look from where they were in Bahrain, to where they’ve come to, it’s almost like this is where they should have been, and they were suffering before. recommends

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“It’s not normal to make such a huge step like that. But even so, they’ve done a great thing. We are of course looking at everyone, but mainly focusing on ourselves and our own model in the tunnel, and bringing the upgrades as fast as we can.”

P4, the position Ferrari currently hold by 120 points ahead of Alpine, remains the “target. That’s our plan. And we will just keep developing as hard as we can to try and achieve that.”

Permane revealed Alpine will have another round of upgrades, billed as a “large” update, for September’s Singapore Grand Prix.

“There’s definitely a large upgrade for Singapore, but I think there’ll certainly be smaller stuff for example in Monza as well,” he said.

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