Alpine failed to score any points in its first Grand Prix since the rebranding of Renault’s factory operation as it failed to fight against its upper midfield rivals at from 2020.
Esteban Ocon spent most of the race out of points after retiring in Q1 and was knocked out by Sebastian Vettel in the finals. His teammate Fernando Alonso qualified ninth and was on the sidelines before a brake problem forced him to retire after 32 laps.
Alpine found that their car’s performance was below expectations during the warmer sessions in Bahrain, suggesting the team has some heat sensitivity to battle with the A521.
“It’s fair to say that we are less satisfied with the car in the hot sessions,” said Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski.
“FP3 [in Bahrain] It was a little more difficult for us, and we returned to a more representative level of competitiveness in the evening sessions, so FP2 and qualifications.
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“The temperature was pretty extreme. It was hotter than during the test. I sat on the pit wall at the start of FP3 and it was 38 ° C, I think the track temperature is 47-48 ° C. It is much hotter than it was two weeks before the test.
“Obviously it’s the same for everyone, but you will have different cars reacting differently to these conditions.
Marcin Budkowski, Alpine F1 team
Photo by: Alpine F1 Team
“We got a little scared, it’s fair to say, Friday morning. We looked a little bit competitive and it’s nice to come back to a place a bit more competitive.
“We still need a little two or three tenths to fight with the people we want to fight with.”
Alpine plans to bring a ‘fairly decent’ upgrade package to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola next weekend in a bid to find performance and join the fight with the other midfield teams. .
Although Budkowski did not anticipate that the hot weather issue would arise again in the next European races due to the spring conditions, he was hopeful that it would be resolved by the time the summer events arrive.
“We have a bit of work to do to understand why we are apparently less competitive in the hot sessions than in the evening sessions. [in Bahrain]Budkowski said.
“I don’t think it will be a problem in Imola or Portugal, but it could become a thing again during the summer months.”