Why Alpine’s obvious struggles ‘might be a good thing’ in the long term

Henry Valantine
Alpine drivers Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly.

Alpine started the season lapping at the back of the field in Bahrain.

Pierre Gasly hopes the struggles facing Alpine at the start of the 2024 season can eventually “find even more potential” within the staff base.

The A524 has started the year as the least competitive car in the F1 field, on the evidence of Bahrain at least, but the team has already undergone a major reshuffle with the resignations of technical director Matt Harman and head of aerodynamics Dirk de Beer on Monday.

Pierre Gasly: ‘No-one’s racing to be P18 and 17’ at Alpine

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

Gasly and team-mate Esteban Ocon finished 18th and 17th respectively in Bahrain after qualifying on the back row of the grid, and the drop in competitiveness has led to the role of technical director being split into three, in the same vein as McLaren.

Speaking prior to the resignations of Harman and De Beer, Gasly hopes that the current on-track struggles facing his team can eventually lead to others unleashing their potential within it, with work ongoing to try and improve their fortunes in the immediate term.

“You know, I think about the 1500 people that’s behind me and no-one’s enjoying [it]. No-one’s doing racing to be P18 and 17, and we all want to find solutions,” Gasly explained to media including PlanetF1.com after the race.

“We’re all going to work as hard as we can and, time will tell, but it might be a good thing for us to even find even more potential within our group and within our team.

“So at the minute, we’ve got to be aware of the situation. We’re aware of the limitations, everyone wants to find solutions and, you know, I see the mentality is the right one inside the team, but you don’t find solutions overnight on these cars, you need more than that and that’s why we will have to be patient.”

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As for the timescale for when Alpine will be able to get back into the points, both Gasly and team-mate Esteban Ocon have said an upgrade package is on its way, but Gasly admitted it will take time before the Enstone team can fight among the top 10 again.

“We need time, because next week [Saudi Arabia] is exactly the same car,” Gasly said of their future prospects.

“We’ve still got a couple of days, and I’m sure the guys will find certain things to improve the package we have.

“But as much as the other guys? They’re not going to slip up, obviously, but I’m sure there is a few things we can do to find a couple of hundredths out of that package.

“But to see us back in the points and fighting with these guys ahead of us is going to take us a good few weeks, but I know the guys will try to bring these upgrades as fast as they can.”

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