Ocon: Alpine F1 development ‘massive’
By Mat Coch
Tuesday 6th December, 2022 - 8:27am
Esteban Ocon has highlighted the Alpine F1 team’s development programme which brought a steady stream of upgrades throughout the 2022 season.
The Anglo-French operation finished fourth in the constructors’ championship after seeing off a challenge from McLaren.
It’s a fair result given the Enstone-based team, on balance, had the fourth fastest car, often let down by poor reliability.
Team boss Otmar Szafnauer has acknowledged that point, suggesting it was a prudent decision to compromise power unit reliability given there is a freeze in place until 2026.
That remained a bugbear throughout the season, especially for Fernando Alonso.
The Frenchman, though, was impressed by the team’s ability to bring performance to the A522 as the year wore on.
“It’s been a good season, from where we started,” Ocon said, referencing the development parts Alpine produced.
“We were obviously looking at trying to improve the car, trying to get more pace out of it, and we clearly developed extremely well during the season, a long time in the season as well.
“And all the upgrades that we’re bringing were massive steps in general.
“This is still what we need to keep going for next year.
“We’re still not in position to be in the top five all the time, but we’ve touched it at times and this is what we need to keep going more consistently.”
With a cost cap in place, how teams both developed and deployed upgrades was far more strategic than in previous years.
It saw some stagnate, having spent what they could afford early, while others could make up for a slow start at the back end of the year.
For some, like Aston Martin, that resulted in a B-spec car being introduced while most opted for larger packages.
Alpine opted for a more staged approach, bringing smaller but more consistent parts or revisions to 18 of the year’s 22 events.
Ocon remains with the squad next season, having inked a deal until the end of 2024 last June.
He’ll be joined by Pierre Gasly, who joined from Scuderia AlphaTauri on a multi-year deal in place of Fernando Alonso.
Alpine F1 Team’s 2022 development programme:
|Bahrain Grand Prix||Sidepods and engine cover
Top rear wing
|Saudi Arabian Grand Prix||Rear wing
|Australian Grand Prix||Floor fences
Rear brake drum flick
|Emilia Romagna Grand prix||Floor edge
|Miami Grand Prix||Rear brake drum flick|
|Spanish Grand Prix||Rear wing
Front wing endplate
Rear brake drum lower winglet
Rear brake drum upper winglet
|Monaco Grand Prix||Front suspension|
|Azerbaijan Grand Prix||Sidepod inlet
|Canadian Grand Prix||Beam wing|
|British Grand Prix||Floor body
|Austrian Grand Prix||Rear wing|
|French Grand Prix||Floor edge
|Hungarian Grand Prix||Beam wing|
|Belgian Grand Prix||Rear brake duct inlet
|Dutch Grand Prix||Beam wing
|Italian Grand Prix||Beam wing|
|Singapore Grand Prix||Floor body|
|Japanese Grand Prix|
|United States Grand Prix||Floor edge|
|Mexico City Grand Prix|
|Sao Paulo Grand Prix|
|Abu Dhabi Grand Prix|