Formula 1

Alpine Beating McLaren Shows Importance of Both Drivers Scoring Heavily – Szafnauer

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Credit: BWT Alpine F1 Team

Otmar Szafnauer says the BWT Alpine F1 Team finishing fourth in Constructors’ Championship during the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship showed just how essential it is to have two drivers scoring heavily.

When comparing his Alpine to the McLaren F1 Team, Szafnauer admitted it was pleasing that both Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso were regular top ten finishers during 2022, with the former scoring fifty-three per cent of the points total.

This compared to Daniel Ricciardo scoring just twenty-three per cent of McLaren’s total, with the majority of their points going the way of Lando Norris.

“If you just look at the points — and it’s not as simple as saying, ‘Let me double Lando’s points, where would they be?’ because it doesn’t quite work that way — but absolutely, especially in the midfield you need two drivers that can score,” Alpine Team Principal Szafnauer is quoted as saying by Racer.com.

“I think it punishes you more in the midfield if it’s just one, because the points on offer aren’t that big usually. If one of them finishes twelfth and the other one is eighth, as opposed to seventh and eight or eighth and ninth, it makes a difference over time.”

Szafnauer says that while he expects Alpine to improve in 2023, he does not expect to jump into the top three in the championship standings.  However, he says it is important to be closer to that top three and pull away from the rest of the pack and continue to make progress as they target a Championship challenging car in the next few seasons.

“Next year we have to take a step closer to being able to win a championship, which is what we wanted to do in 100 races,” said the American.  “That 100 started at the beginning of this year so it’s less than 80 now, so for us to be able to do that… We’re fourth but marginal to fifth — we need to do the same but be closer to third next year.

“We need to be closer to third than we are fifth next year — even if we stay fourth we’ve got to make progress.”

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