Alonso feels a change in development thanks to budget cap

Michelle Foster
Fernando Alonso speaking during a press conference at the Silverstone circuit. Britain July 2022

Although Alpine arrived at Silverstone with a major sidepod and floor redesign, Fernando Alonso says there has definitely been a change to how teams bring updates as a result of the budget cap.

This season the Formula 1 teams are all operating under a $140m budget cap, one that has those with bigger budgets complaining.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has been one of the more vocal in calling for an increase, warning that some teams may not make it to the final few races or that one skipped update could decide the championship.

1996 World Champion Damon Hill reckons the cap has put a stop to the traditional early-season development war that used to rage from the Spanish Grand Prix through to Italy with a few minor upgrades coming after that.

There is, however, no sign at present of Alpine slowing down.

They have brought new parts to the past two races, Baku and Canada, and have brought more to Silverstone with a major sidepod and floor redesign for the A522.

Alonso, though, reckons behind the scenes the cap is having an impact forcing the team to stick to plan rather than be more creative.

“Probably yes, it does a little bit,” said the double World Champion.

“We changed a little bit the way Formula 1 teams used to work and to develop the cars and the mentality they had in terms of being creative and exploring something very unique.

“I think now they are all very worried about the budget cap and try to stick with a plan that they set already at the beginning of the year.

“So that’s a new way of racing, probably, and also, I don’t know which kind of impact will have on the future as well of the fuels of the road cars or whatever.

‘But definitely, I feel a change comparing to any other season.”

Alpine’s new floor for Silverstone is a new shape with cut-outs along the edge while the sidepods have the Ferrari-styled valley between the sidepod edge and the engine bodywork.

The floor also has a new shape with a lot of cut-outs along the floor edge.

Alpine are currently fifth in the Constructors’ Championship, eight points behind McLaren and six ahead of Alfa Romeo.