Alpine hopes to have addressed Bahrain weaknesses
By Mat Coch
Tuesday 13th April, 2021 - 10:21am
Alpine heads into this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix with the hope that is has resolved the weaknesses it identified at the opening round of the Formula 1 season.
The Anglo-French squad left the Bahrain Grand Prix without a point, Esteban Ocon finishing 13th while Fernando Alonso was forced out with brake problems.
Ocon was also a casualty in the first phase of qualifying on Saturday, and lined up for the event just 16th.
“We left Bahrain feeling disappointed by not scoring points,” admitted the team’s executive director, Marcin Budkowski.
“The Bahrain race weekend confirmed some of the weaknesses of our package, which we’re working hard to improve and gain the few tenths of a second that we are currently missing to fight at the front of the midfield.
“We have an aerodynamic upgrade package coming to the car for this Grand Prix.
“In addition, we have some test items to assess during Friday practice, which will help define further upgrades planned over the next few races.”
The Alpine A521 is largely a carryover of last year’s Renault R.S.20, though has a few notable differences.
Most visible is the wide airbox, a design which came about due to aerodynamic design choices and a repackaged Renault engine.
Heading into this weekend’s event, the team is aware that the emphasis must be placed on qualifying.
Overtaking around the Imola circuit is difficult, making track position a critical factor.
“I do like the Imola racetrack and I was glad to see it return to Formula 1 last year,” Alonso said.
“It threw up an exciting race in 2020 and I think some of the changes to the circuit since I raced here over 10 years ago has improved the racing.
“I have some good memories here particularly in 2005 when we won the race and later took the championship that year.”
Ocon added: “Imola is a classic racetrack.
“Returning there last season was nice as it feels so historic and old school with its deep racing roots.
“It’s a circuit I enjoy racing at.”
The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix beings on Friday with Free Practice at 19:30 AEST.