Alpine has already started testing components for next season’s car. The French team expects that the new components will not affect the performance of the current car in Las Vegas, but hopes to be able to try out some adjustments for next year.
The fact that the new components do not improve the current Alpine car was reflected in the results of both Alpine drivers in the second free practice in Las Vegas. Pierre Gasly was stuck at P15, while teammate Esteban Ocon did not get higher than P16. “It’s been quite difficult so far,” Gasly said of the first sessions in Las Vegas, speaking to Autosport. “On my side of the garage we’re doing some experimenting for next year’s car, so we’re trying out different set-ups and trying to get some answers and some direction for next year.”
Gasly also said he was willing to settle for a worse performance in Las Vegas if it helps the team in the longer term. “I don’t think we’re really looking at this track specifically, so we’ll probably make a little concession this weekend. But we know it’s for a bigger purpose and especially for next year. We try to optimize as much as possible with what we have. Today was a bit difficult.’
Alpine is mainly concerned with collecting data
Alpine’s technical director Matt Harman confirmed that Alpine is indeed experimenting over the Vegas weekend. The factory team even designed special parts for these experiments. “We had a number of parts made by the factory over the weekend which was a great response from the factory as I wanted to try something completely different at this event. You won’t see it in the lap times, but you will see it in the data.’
Although Harman did not reveal any details, he did explain in which areas the French racing team is testing. “I think it’s another one of those things that will help us with the aerodynamic direction, the sensitivities, the weightings of our aerodynamics on the car, but also some of the mechanical systems at the rear of the car that really determine how this cars can drive around the bends.’
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