Alpine introduce floor upgrade for Azerbaijan
By Mat Coch
Wednesday 26th April, 2023 - 10:41pm
Alpine will introduce an upgrade package for this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix that includes a new floor for its A523.
The upgrade arrives in line with the development plan the Enstone team set pre-season.
It also comes in spite of hefty repairs to both cars following a penultimate lap crash between Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon at the Australian Grand Prix.
“We are bringing a new floor to Baku amongst some other aerodynamic and mechanical items,” said Matt Harmon, Alpine’s technical director.
“We then have a further development at the following race in Miami and something further for Imola after that.
“This consistent thread will continue throughout the season with more upgrades planned at most events.
“In the short term, what we have for Baku, Miami and Imola is a reasonable step – though not as significant as some media speculation in recent weeks – and it’s important we keep this aggressive rate of development up if we are to keep moving forwards towards our performance expectations.”
How Alpine stacks up
Alpine started the 2023 season with a question mark over exactly where it stacked up.
The drivers and team boss Otmar Szafnauer spoke confidently during pre-season testing before a disastrous Bahrain Grand Prix masked the car’s potential.
Saudi Arabia offered some insight, suggesting it sits at the front of the midfield, a point reinforced in Melbourne.
There, Pierre Gasly ran fifth at the Lap 55 stoppage with team-mate Ocon 10th – a result that would have netted Alpine 11 points.
Instead, it left Albert Park empty-handed after the pair clashed at Turn 2 to draw the final red flag of the race.
“It was good to have a little break after the Australian Grand Prix to properly debrief after the race and analyse the weekend as whole,” said Ocon.
“Obviously, it did not end well for us but there were many positives to take from the weekend, and we are fully focused on bouncing back strongly in Baku.
“As a team we’ve already been looking forward to Baku for a while now so we’re all glad this new race week is finally here.”
Gasly meanwhile has been in the team’s factory ahead of this weekend’s race.
“It’s time to keep my head down, work hard and aim for strong performances that are rewarded with what we deserve,” he noted.
Opening practice in Azerbaijan begins at 13:30 local time (19:30 AEST) on Friday.
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