Fernando Alonso will be beginning his second season with BWT Alpine F1 Team in 2022 as new regulations take hold. As the A522 is revealed, the grid’s most experienced driver shares his thoughts on the coming season and the shake-up that may come along with it.
Alonso is teaming up with Esteban Ocon once again for the 2022 season, after a notable 2021 campaign in which Alonso earned his first podium since 2014, Ocon his first ever win in F1 and an overall result of 5th in the Constructors’ standings.
“Last year was more of a transitional one for the team and obviously a continuation of the 2020 cars. However, we still managed to achieve some fantastic results like Esteban’s win in Hungary and my podium in Qatar. This year, though, there is a real feeling of optimism in the team.
“We’ve worked hard in Enstone and Viry over the winter. We will not know where everyone stands until the cars are wheeled out for the first time in Barcelona, but the anticipation of this moment is always special for everyone involved!”
Alonso said that he is excited to continue competing alongside Ocon and working together within the team atmosphere.
“Before I joined Alpine in 2021, I knew Esteban a little but not personally. However, over the course of last season he has been a fantastic team-mate. He’s a very easy guy to get along with and we’re both looking forward to this season where we can share some more memories together with Alpine.”
When it comes to the new technical regulations, the promise of closer battling and more overtaking opportunities was a highlight for the Spanish driver.
“We have been asking for closer racing between cars, especially in the corners. We will have to wait and see if these regulations allow closer racing, but I will never be upset with the idea of more exciting racing.”
“The closer racing that the regulations offer could be very important for the sport. In previous years, on many tracks the only realistic way to overtake was on the straights with DRS. And sometimes not at all!
“The thought of being able to follow the car in front closer through the corners is very exciting for me and should make it more challenging for us drivers.”
Being in line with the new technical era, Alonso said there is still much to be learned about the A522– knowledge he is looking forward to uncovering once winter testing begins.
“It is certainly different than the previous generations of Formula 1 cars. At the moment there is a lot of simulation and analysis, so I am excited for winter testing when we will know a lot more. Also, my experiences and learnings in the A521 last year will be helpful in setting up the A522 to a style I’m happy with.”
Along with changes to the cars themselves, Alonso said that the cost cap is a step towards a more level playing field.
“The sport is moving in the right direction off track too, thanks to the introduction of things like a budget cap. We hope it can bring more fairer racing between all of the teams with limits on spending to stop others outspending the rest.”