Alpine boss Laurent Rossi has explained the French marque’s “100 grand prix” plan as the team embarks on a new era of F1.
The team finished the 2021 season in fifth place, which was no change from the previous season in their guise as Renault. The team did, however, win a grand prix courtesy of Esteban Ocon in Hungary.
Alpine’s new car, the A522, failed to set the timing sheets alight during the first test in Barcelona and even had a shortened day three after an engine failure on track.
According to the team’s sporting director, Alan Permane, Alpine were running much heavier fuel loads, so the times are not representative of where Alpine believe they are.
However, Rossi is excited about the prospect of a new season that has the potential to dramatically shake up the order.
“It’s a very exciting time because we’ve been waiting for this new era and here it comes!” explained Rossi to F1.com.
“It symbolises the [order] is going to be reshuffled. We will be dealt a new hand and this car will be the one bringing us new hope.
“So I’m very excited to see it. Obviously new regulations will mean constant progress. So what you see on this car will be very different from what you see race after race, but it’s extremely exciting.
“On the livery side, you can see that, true to our values, it’s a beautiful car. Blue at the centre, but we’ve a nice touch [of pink] from our main title sponsor BWT.
“We have a clear plan set by Luca de Meo (Renault CEO) – we know where we want to be four seasons from now at the end of the regulation era.”
‘El Plan’ looks to be in motion with new signings such as team principal Otmar Szafnauer from Aston Martin, and locking in their driver pairing for the new season.
Rossi hopes this new structure will help them to achieve a target of regular race wins and a possible shot at the Constructors’ title.
“It’s a 100 grand prix journey where the most important is to make progress race after race,” said Rossi.
“The new structure will help us to carry on the promising operational progress we saw on the track, and build a more comprehensive scope across all sites as a works team.
“But also to evolve the car race after race and to make sure the 100 grand prix journey is successful and it goes up and up.
“The target is clear – we want to fight for wins and, if possible, desirably, enough to be a contender for the title.
“That’s why we secured Esteban for three years to make sure we have that stability. With Fernando, it was a bit of a different situation because he was coming back from retirement.
“So we gave ourselves the time to check he was operating at the right level. He’s operating at a super-high level, arguably the highest level you can imagine, and honestly I think he’s a fantastic driver.
“So far so good! We have a strong line-up that has been involved in the development of this year’s car, but [they] have also brought their expertise in improving operations on track. Providing we give them a fast car, this could be a very efficient duo.”
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