Alpine upgrades planned for Barcelona, Baku and Silverstone

The Spanish Grand Prix will be the first real opportunity for the teams to try out some upgrade packages.

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has revealed that the French outfit will be bringing evolutions of their 2022 car in the next three European rounds of the season.

Alpine have scored points on five occasions between Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon in 2022 but, while the Frenchman has scored points in all of the last four, the double world champion has not scored since the Bahrain Grand Prix at the start of the year.

This has been for a variety of reasons, including an engine failure in Saudi Arabia, an oil seal failure and an ill-time Safety Car in Australia, as well as contact with Mick Schumacher at the start in Imola.

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A penalty for hitting Pierre Gasly in Miami put him out of the points last weekend, and the pace of the Alpine has been surpassed by Alfa Romeo and McLaren.

In a bid to prevent deterioration of their pace and help them reignite their bid to be the best of the rest, Szafnauer confirms that a raft of upgrades is on the way.

“There are pieces for Spain, which is the sixth race. There will be pieces two races later [in Azerbaijan], and in the tenth [at the British Grand Prix]. 

“It will be a constant flow of evolutions.” 

The Romanian-American notes that the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona lends itself to a variation of different car strengths, and therefore believes that his team will be in a good spot if they can show some good pace there.

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“I hope that the Alpine is strong in Barcelona, ​​it is a circuit that is going well for us and many people say that, if you are strong in Barcelona, ​​you will be in most places,” he added.

Alonso’s race in Miami was ruined when he dived down the inside of Gasly into Turn One and damaged the right rear of the Frenchman’s AlphaTauri.

The 25-year-old would then later hit Lando Norris as he tried to get his car back to the pits, and Alonso was handed a five-second penalty for the incident.

He apologised to Gasly for the collision after the race, but Szafnauer believes his driver would not have been in that position to begin with had it not been for a disrupted qualifying.

“It’s very frustrating, of course, but he’s fine and we all want more, both us and Fernando,” explained the 57-year-old. 

“In Miami he should have started later, the Q3 narrowly escaped, because Sainz blocked him, and if you start there at the front the race is completely different, because we had the pace of a Bottas or Hamilton in one lap. 

“We have to put everything together with Fernando. We will do it in the short term and we’ll add more points.”

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As for Alonso’s contract, the Spaniard said previously that he wanted to open up discussions about renewing beyond this season in the summer break, and Szafnauer confirms that negotiations will take place “from Silverstone,” which takes place late in July.

Alpine sit 20 points behind McLaren in sixth in the Constructors’ Standings, but the calamities that have befallen Alonso could easily have negated that disadvantage.