The French carmaker had a tough start to the season in Bahrain, with neither Fernando Alonso nor Esteban Ocon managing to finish in the points.
Alonso’s hopes were dashed in the race by overheated brakes, triggered by a sandwich wrap stuck in the car, while Ocon was left on his back by poorly timed yellow flags in qualifying that drove him to be discarded in Q1.
Even without these dramas, however, Alpine didn’t seem to have the pace to seriously threaten its main rivals McLaren, Ferrari and AlphaTauri, which is why the company is planning a development push.
Executive Director Marcin Budkowski said: “The Bahrain Race Weekend confirmed some of the weaknesses in our package, which we are working hard to improve and win the few tenths of a second we currently lack to fight in front of the midfielder. . “
Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521, in the pits
Photo By: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
Alpine plans to bring aerodynamic development to this weekend’s Imola race, as well as use Friday practice to better understand the design direction to be taken with further improvements.
Budkowski added, “We have an aerodynamic upgrade package coming on the car for this great price.
“In addition, we have a few test items to evaluate during practice on Friday, which will help define further improvements planned for the next few races.”
Alonso, who returns to F1 this season after two seasons away, says the team’s goal this weekend must be to finish in the top ten.
“I think we have to fight to score our first points of the season on Sunday,” he said.
“Hopefully all of our bad luck this season has been exhausted in Bahrain. We are still learning a lot about the car and I expect the setup here and of course the weather to be very different from what we experienced in Bahrain.
“It should be pretty tight and a few tenths of a second could be a number of positions.”