Alpine ‘Managing The Ball’ As Concerns Over Exhaust Penalties Grow

The Alpine F1 Team is concerned about taking grid penalties later in the season for using more than the permitted number of exhausts, Marcin Budkowski, executive director of the French team, has revealed.

Formula 1 teams are allowed to use eight exhausts per driver each season, but due to special circumstances, Alpine limited the mileage they put on some of the exhausts they used in the first few races of 2021.

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As such, the team is concerned that they could incur penalties towards the end of the year, as they might have to use more than eight exhausts on each car over the course of the season.

“We had an issue at the beginning of the year, reliability concerns, which meant that we limited the mileage of our exhausts to avoid failure during the race and a DNF,” Budkowski explained.

“So we have introduced a few exhausts at the beginning of the year to contain that risk. We believe we have solved this issue now with a spec of exhaust we introduced during the season.

“What we’re doing now is really managing the ball.

“We have a number of exhausts per car for the season, we just need to manage it and effectively, as you know you manage them between practice sessions, qualifying, race, by having a bit more resources in your pool, you can use them in the most efficient way, if you want, for the rest of the season.”

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Continuing, Budkowski downplayed the risk of them taking grid penalties this year, but admitted they are a bit more “exposed” to that risk than ideal.  

“Touch wood, we don’t expect to take penalties this season, but obviously, as we’ve used a few more than we would have liked to at the beginning of the season, then we are a bit exposed,” he concluded.

After recording their maiden win as Alpine last time out in Hungary, the French works team are currently fifth in the Constructors’ Standings on 77 points, 86 points adrift of fourth-placed McLaren.

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