Singapore GP: Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon to run major Alpine upgrade

Alpine have brought some changes to the Singapore Grand Prix.

Alpine made the decision not to ruin the new floor they have brought to the Singapore Grand Prix during the first practice session on Friday.

The French team are lock in a battle with McLaren for fourth place in the championship, and are bringing upgrades to some of the final rounds of the year to bolster their arsenal.

Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso have put Alpine 18 points ahead of McLaren in the fight to be best of the rest, and that particular fight could go down to the wire.

Singapore is different to the Spa and Monza circuits that Formula 1 has visited recently, in that it shares similar characteristics to the likes of Hungary and Zandvoort.

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More downforce is required at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, meaning that a more intricate floor with more effective venturi tunnels in the corners are needed.

Due to the budget cap, it is not so easy to design and build an upgrade, so they take a little longer than they used to, which is why Alpine’s changes have had to wait until the 17th round of the season.

Alpine’s chief technical officer, Pat Fry, confirmed the upgrades ahead of the weekend in Singapore.

“We are bringing an entire new floor to both cars this weekend, which will also carry over to Japan for the next race,” he said.

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“Visually, on the surface, it’s not much different to the previous version as most of the developments are underneath. It should bring a reasonable step in performance, though. 

“At recent races, we’ve managed to bring a strong set of developments to the car, and they’ve all worked as expected.”

The Briton indicated that there will further adaptations to come before the Mexican Grand Prix, where the Enstone-based side are set to put more focus onto next year.

“We have some more upgrades to bring this season before we begin to wind down by Austin at the end of October,” explained Fry.

“Everyone at Enstone has worked exceptionally well on meeting targets for developments, so credit to everyone involved for their hard work.”

Formula 1 is visiting Singapore for the first time since 2019 this weekend, and Fry is pleased to see the race back on the calendar after two years away due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s great that we are going back to Singapore for the first time since 2019,” he added.

“Since its introduction onto the calendar, it’s always been a good event with the characteristics of the track bringing excitement to both Qualifying and the Race.”

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Practice one on Friday was held in the evening, not at night, when qualifying and the race will be staged.

Lap times are less representative as a result, so Alpine put the older floors on the cars being driven by Alonso and Ocon.

The Frenchman finished seventh in the opening practice session, with his team-mate behind in 10th.