Formula 1

Alpine Identifies Issues, Applies Fixes to Problems that Affected British, Austrian Weekends

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Credit: BWT Alpine F1 Team

The BWT Alpine F1 Team have revealed they have found the causes of the mechanical issues that affected them during the recent British and Austrian Grand Prix, and fixes have been identified.

Fernando Alonso was unable to start the Sprint race at the Red Bull Ring last Sunday as the car would not fire up, and it was initially thought that a problem with the ECU was the cause.

However, inspections since the race in Austria have pinpointed the problem to be related to getting power into the ECU, so more an Alpine issue rather than a problem with the standardised ECU.

“At that point in time, we thought it was an ECU failure,” Otmar Szafnauer, the Team Principal at Alpine, said to Motorsport.com“We took it back to the factory, and we were able to replicate the problem. And it wasn’t the ECU. It’s a box that powers the ECU.

“And so the ECU was fine, but the power box that powers the ECU wasn’t fine. And if you don’t power it, it looks like the ECU is dead. All indications were that the ECU had failed, but we didn’t know then that the power box wasn’t working. And it’s an Alpine part.”

Esteban Ocon’s problems where he stopped during the British Grand Prix and just after the chequered flag in the Sprint race in Austria, are related, with an issue with SSC high pressure pump that is a standardised part supplied by Bosch.

Szafnauer says Alpine and Bosch have been working hard to solve the issues that have blighted them this year, and he says it is not only his team that have had issues with the component in 2022.

“The issue on the fuel pump is that we had a couple of early failures on the dyno,” Szafnauer added.  “Therefore, we tried to fix those problems ourselves, as the Bosch standard issue wasn’t working in an F1 installation, because it’s a road car part.

“Several teams had this problem, and us and Ferrari got dispensation from the FIA to do our own fixes. Therefore we went our own route to fix the Bosch problem.  And our own fix worked fine for the first nine races. We had no problems on the dyno, or on the track. Then something happened, probably we saw some different types of loadings for whatever reason. And they started to fail.

“Bosch also improved from the beginning, they’ve made changes to improve the electrical connection. So some of the teams used the Bosch improvement, and two of the teams used their own improvement.

“We’re working on a new fix ourselves for France, and at the same time exploring what Bosch have recently done to fix their initial problem.”

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