Alpine Gearing Up For ‘Relative’ Development Race As New Upgrades Look ‘Promising’

Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski admitted they “experienced some headwind during the winter” which hampered their 2021 car.

Alpine F1 Team at Imola in 2021 -

The Alpine F1 Team is looking to bring a number of upgrades over the next few grand prix after testing out a number of “promising” new components at Imola, team executive director Marcin Budkowski has said.

Alpine scored their first points of 2021 at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix last weekend, with Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso crossing the finish line in P9 and P10, respectively.

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After finishing fifth in last season’s Constructors’ Championship as Renault, Alpine look set for a difficult campaign as they currently have one of the least competitive cars on the F1 grid.

However, Budkowski is optimistic that their upgrades will improve their package, though he is wary of the fact that their rivals will also be bringing some upgrades this season, so any gains they make will be relative.

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“We have a number of test items for evaluation and subject to the analysis that is ongoing it looks promising,” Budkowski said.

“Going into the [pre-season] test, we knew we experienced some headwind during the winter with some of the regulation changes but also we had a few issues in the wind tunnel that slowed us in terms of development.

“We knew we didn’t have the best possible winter. Therefore, we weren’t expecting miracles. We were expecting to be on the back foot in terms of pace [and] testing confirmed that.

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“Interestingly, we ended up pretty much where we thought we would end up but we got it wrong with some of the cars that were in front of us and some of the cars that ended up behind us,” he added.

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Continuing, Budkowski said they are “pushing hard” to improve their package and didn’t provide an indication as to when they will stop working on this year’s car and focus entirely on 2022.

“In terms of reaction, most of the upgrades were planned already, you don’t re-do a front wing or things in two weeks, they were just our planned upgrades,” he said.

“Some of the other things we are testing here are the results of the Bahrain test and the race. We are pushing hard to try to improve our performance and it’s clear from the number of upgrades we are bringing here.

“But first of all, we are further behind than we would like to be, so it’s going to take a bit more than a few upgrades, and then I don’t expect everyone else is waiting for us to bring upgrades.

“Everybody is going to improve their car, so it’s a relative race. It looks like the car is going to progress with the upgrades we’re bringing but we’ve got more work to do in the next few races to bring a bit more.”

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