After a disappointing start to the 2021 season where Esteban Ocon finished P13 and returning two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso failed to finish at all, Alpine F1 Team have announced that the team will bring some significant upgrades to their A521 car. Following a race where the team did not score any points, new team executive director Marcin Budkowski is hoping that the new upgrades can bring a change in fortunes for the French team.
Alpine's car struggles in high temperatures: Budkowski
Budkowski said the upgrade is centered around the rear of the car, which was subject to new 2021 regulations. The Pole also mentioned that Alpine would bring upgrades to the car at regular intervals to stay competitive:
“There’s an area [the rear] that’s changed in the regulations which is an area of development at the moment.”
“We’ve done some work there at the tests, we’ve done some work [in Bahrain] and no doubt we’ll do some more work at the next few races, everybody else will as well. It’s an area which will change."
Marcin Budkowski will hope that these upgrades will bring more performance in the Alpine A521 for Alonso and Ocon to extract. The team have also figured out where they lack in performance compared to their rivals. According to the executive director, the car doesn't suit sessions where the air temperatures are high:
“We have a bit of homework on understanding why we’re seemingly less competitive in the hot sessions than in the evening sessions. Which I don’t think is going to be a problem in Imola or Portugal but could become a thing in the summer months.”
2021 is a make-or-break season for Alpine. The team had a promising end to 2020 as they looked to have made a major leap, with Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon winning three podiums throughout the season.
Alpine was supposed to be fighting for race wins in 2021 by their own admission. They also brought in two-time world champion Fernando Alonso to lead the team to glory. However, Alpine have failed to deliver on their promise thus far. Formula 1 fans will be eager to see if the team can deliver a competitive car to the Spaniard, who still has the potential to fight for podiums when given the right equipment.
With the midfield potentially locked in an ultra-competitive battle throughout the season, Alpine need to develop their car fast and reliably to challenge for the moniker of 'best of the rest.'