Alpine comes up with a completely new concept: ‘Just keep the steering wheel’

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Alpine comes up with a completely new concept: 'Just keep the steering wheel'

Alpine faces a difficult start to the season after the entire concept of the car has changed. The new car is almost nothing the same as the car with which Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly finished sixth in the constructors’ championship in 2023. “We only keep the steering wheel,” says technical director Matt Harman.

There are changes in the field of aerodynamics, but the rear suspension has also changed. The team hopes the car will be easy to drive and set up for Ocon and Gasly. However, this also entails a great risk. It’s possible that Alpine in Bahrain won’t be where the team hopes to be. The drivers know that too.

Drivers are reluctant

“It is a possible scenario,” Ocon replied to a question from about whether Alpine expects a difficult start. ‘We have a new concept, the car is new. When that happens you often take a step back,” says the Frenchman. Yet he does not see things too gloomy. “The plan is to keep getting better and making progress. We need good feedback immediately to see where improvement is needed.’ According to Ocon, this is not yet crucial at the start of the season. “We want to be there in the middle of the season.”

Gasly also admits that he and Ocon will have to be patient. “As Matt said, the only thing we kept from 2023 is the steering wheel. We start again with a clean slate. That is always a risk,” Gasly explains. “But you have to take risks if you want to achieve something, so that is our strategy.” The two drivers have not yet tried out the car, but Gasly is cautiously positive. “We have potential and we may have to be patient.”

McLaren and Aston Martin as examples

Gasly says Aston Martin’s fast start to the 2023 season and McLaren’s development as the season progresses give hope that Alpine can also make such a leap. These stories provide motivation within the team. “It can be seen that it is possible in Formula 1 to come back,” he adds. “It also depends on the form at the start of the season, so I have good hopes.”

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