Alpine developing ‘further upgrades’ while stockpiling spare parts for Azerbaijan GP

The Chinese Grand Prix was supposed to take place between the races in Australia and Azerbaijan, before it was cancelled.

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has revealed that the Enstone-based team are using the current break to develop “ample car parts”, with the side working on spares and also “further upgrades”.

The four-week break between the Australian Grand Prix and Azerbaijan Grand Prix has come at a good time for Alpine, with Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon having crashed into each other at the Albert Park Circuit.

It was a less than ideal race in Melbourne for the team, especially as both drivers were on-track for a points finish.

Alpine have taken the double-DNF on the chin, though, and are now preparing themselves for Baku.

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The four-week break has come as a result of the Chinese Grand Prix being cancelled, with it offering Alpine the chance to work on some updates.

“Well, the break wasn’t planned but it is a welcome break from both getting ample car parts, spares as well as when we do bring developments,” Szafnauer told media, including

“You know there’s a huge effort to make enough of those parts to ensure that you can really push hard – so that definitely helps.”

Spare parts are also being developed by Alpine ahead of Azerbaijan, given that the venue will host the first sprint race of the 2023 F1 season.

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The Baku City Circuit is typically a car killer at the best of times, with the walls being incredibly close.

“It does seem that Baku always produces interesting racing and yes, there is more jeopardy because it’s a street race and some of the walls are pretty close,” Szafnauer said.

The four-week break will likely play into the advantage of several teams, especially those who have struggled in the opening three rounds.

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Whilst Alpine haven’t struggled for pace, they have struggled for results, with the French team knowing that upgrades will help boost them further up the field.

Having the break has also allowed Alpine to “plan” their upgrades better, something which will potentially boost their hopes of becoming consistent podium contenders.

“Also the break allows you to plan further upgrades that you find through your simulation tools, and knowing that the break is there, you plan them a bit differently – but it definitely helps,” added Szafnauer.