After a troubling weekend for both Alpine F1 Team cars on their Formula 1 debut as a revitalised outfit, executive director Marcin Budkowski says the entire team have their sights set firmly on the next race at Imola where they hope new upgrades will improve their form.
Two-time champion Fernando Alonso retired from the season-opener in Bahrain after a sandwich bag in the rear brakes caused race-ending overheating whilst Esteban Ocon could not muster any points having started a lowly sixteenth. All in all, a relatively dismal night in Sakhir.
“We left Bahrain feeling disappointed by not scoring points.” Said Marcin.
“The Bahrain race weekend confirmed some of the weaknesses of our package, which we’re working hard to improve and gain the few tenths of a second that we are currently missing to fight at the front of the midfield. Both Esteban and Fernando did a good job over the race weekend, but suffered from adverse circumstances – Esteban in qualifying, Fernando in the race – so we’re aiming for a clean weekend to allow them to show their true potential.“
Yet, Budkowski has faith. He says the team’s finish in Bahrain was merely bad luck, and that the new improvements will yield more performance for the team to play with. The next race- hosted at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari– is also one where the team aims to generate more crucial data and information as to where they lie in terms of relative pace.
And having scored a podium at Imola last year with Daniel Ricciardo, the team is eager to continue their admirable form at the historic track.
“It will be interesting to see how our car performs on a different circuit, having only been to Bahrain for testing and the first race so far this season. It will also generate new data to help our development effort. As a team, we have happy memories from our podium here last season so it’s good to go back!“
“We have an aerodynamic upgrade package coming to the car for this Grand Prix. In addition, we have some test items to assess during Friday practice, which will help define further upgrades planned over the next few races.”
Budkowski concluded by stating the team’s optimism and excitement going into the second round of the new season. With Formula 1 returning to the legendary Imola circuit for the second year in a row, all drivers and personnel at Alpine are eager to test their might against the tricky course.
“Imola really is a legendary circuit for car racing and, in particular, for Formula 1. It’s a fast circuit with high power sensitivity and quick changes of direction, so the driver needs to have confidence in the car to attack the fast and flowing corner combinations. We are very much looking forward to the race!”