Alpine boss bites back at Fernando Alonso’s dig after joining Aston Martin

Fernando Alonso claims that he lost 66 points in 2022 through reliability issues with his A522.

Despite Fernando Alonso having moved to Aston Martin, the Spaniard had time for one last dig at Alpine, following the post-season test at Abu Dhabi.

Whilst the double World Champion is contracted to the Enstone-based team until the end of the year, he was given permission to drive for his new side in the post-season test, where he racked up 97 laps.

The Spaniard is already very much looking forward to his first season with Aston Martin, following a horrible year for him at Alpine.

Luck certainly hasn’t been on his side in 2022, with the 41-year-old having retired from six races during the campaign following endless reliability issues.

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He even retired from the season finale at the Yas Marina Circuit last Sunday, somewhat fitting given his issues all year.

Alonso couldn’t hide his delight at finally getting away from Alpine, with the driver having been not afraid at all of sharing what he really thought with the media.

The veteran was left unbelievably impressed with Aston Martin’s power unit (supplied by Mercedes) in the post-season test, despite having been concerned about its mileage, suggesting that Alpine’s would’ve blown had it completed the same amount of running.

Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer has since hit back at Alonso and defended both Alpine and Renault, who supply the power units.

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Szafnauer has made it incredibly clear that Renault opted for performance over reliability in 2022, with the Romanian-American adding that they fixed any issues “quickly”.

“Some of the conditions that produced some of the failures would be very difficult to replicate on the dyno and when we did have those failures, we quickly got on top of them and corrected them,” said Szafnauer.

“One of the failures was minor, an assembly error on the part of a mechanic putting the engine together. That kind of stuff is impossible to replicate when you’re doing dyno work.

“However, you learn from them and you put the process in place so this can’t happen again. It’s exactly what we’ve been doing this year.”

Given that the top three in the Constructors’ were very much out of reach for Alpine, perhaps their issues shouldn’t be targeted too much given they still claimed fourth in the standings.

Where they would’ve ended up had they not endured so many issues would’ve been incredibly fascinating to see, given that the A522 has been blistering fast at the vast majority of circuits this season.

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Szafnauer does admit, though, that some things could’ve been done differently, with a “more robust design” having been more suitable, perhaps.

“Hindsight’s a wonderful thing and had we known that some of these failures were to creep in, we would have had a different, more robust design,” the Alpine boss reflected.

“But the process of signing off the engines was correct. We did all the dyno testing and long-running that you would expect for a new powertrain design.”