Alpine F1 Team‘s engine technical director, Rémi Taffin has said at this point, as they head into the 2021 season, all of the time that the drivers have on track is vital.
He explained that there will not be many changes to their power unit for this year as they are focusing plans on 2022 after being forced to delay their development programme.
“For 2021, there are minimal changes to last year’s power unit specification since we commit to focus on 2022 after we had to shift by one year our original 2021 program,” said Taffin.
“The minimum weight requirement for the whole power unit has increased by 5kg as a cost-saving measure on material restrictions.
“As always for a new season, the plan is to secure our reliability while maintaining a high level of engine performance at every race. We aim to keep integrating the engine and the chassis as best as possible to maximise the overall package.”
Restrictions on upgrading power units came into force at the end of the 2020 season, which Taffin says has forced the team to ensure they are performing consistently, and as a result have decided to implement the upgrade at the start of the season in Bahrain.
“There is a restriction on power unit upgrades effective from the end of 2020 to the end of 2021, which places an emphasis on extracting maximum performance consistently, straight away from the first race.
“We have planned to introduce our engine upgrade, the R.E.20B from the first round of the 2021 Formula 1 season in Bahrain, which sets us up to deliver consistent performance at each and every race weekend.”
The 2021 season will be the longest in history – with 23 races – however, Taffin says they are not put off, having planned for such an eventuality for months, also making continual improvements to the reliability of their package.
“We have done our preparations over the last months, even years, on extending reliability and performance with an eye on more races being added to the calendar. Even last season, the plan was to race 22 times over the course of the year, and we were well prepared for that scenario.”
He continued: “This year, it is no different. There are 23 races scheduled – we have anticipated this challenge well – and we know our package is already capable of achieving this figure. I’m looking forward to racing again this season where, more than ever, finishing races will be key to the sporting outcome. From now on, every single minute of running will count for our drivers to learn the car and get the most out of it from round one.”