Alpine beat McLaren to P4 in the championship

"It punishes you more in the midfield" - Alpine wary of refreshed McLaren challenge in 2023 F1 season

Alpine boss Otmar Szafneur is wary of the challenge posed by McLaren after suffering a defeat at the hands of the French team this season.

The two teams were embroiled in a tense battle for P4 in the championship, and it took until the last race of the season for Alpine to beat McLaren.

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One of the biggest reasons why Alpine was able to beat McLaren was the effectiveness of both its drivers. While McLaren had Lando Norris extracting the maximum possible from his car, Daniel Ricciardo was unable to get on top of his issues with the machinery.

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On the other hand, Alpine had both Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon contributing equally to the championship, as both scored a similar number of points over the season.

Otmar, aware of this, did touch on the importance of having two drivers that could perform at a very high level and contribute points to the team:

"If you look at the points, it's not as simple as saying, 'Let me double Lando's points and where would they be?' It doesn't quite work like that. In the midfield, you need two drivers that can score. It punishes you more in the midfield if it is just one [driver scoring regular points] as the points on offer aren't that big. Usually if one finishes 12th and the other is eighth, as opposed to seventh and eighth or eighth and ninth, it makes a difference."
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Alpine concerned with Pierre Gasly's penalty points

The Alpine boss did admit that he was a bit concerned with the penalty points situation of one of his drivers, Pierre Gasly.

The French recruit is just two points away from a race ban, and that would not be an ideal situation for the team.

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Talking to racingnews365.com, Otmar advocated the need to increase the number of penalty points as the number of races has seen an increase:

"We can maybe lobby the FIA to see if it can be changed. I get the logic for wanting to change, as the 12 points was brought in when we had [fewer] races, including no Sprint races where you can get those type of points. If you take the 12 points and make it proportional to the amount of races we have now, 12 would probably go up to 14 or 15."

Otmar added:

"It seems to me to be a logical thing to do. Yeah I've got 12 points but I got them over 22 races and three Sprint races – when the points were set we only had 18 or 20 races. There is a certain logic to say: 'We don't want you to lose your licence because you've accumulated these over a time period but in more races'. Otherwise, I think he'll have to drive a bit more cautiously for a while, and that's not great either."

Pierre Gasly will join Esteban Ocon at Alpine and replace Fernando Alonso next season.

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Edited by
Virat Deswal
 
 
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