Alpine confirm Esteban Ocon will run updated floor at Miami Grand Prix
Esteban Ocon will join Fernando Alonso in using the updated floor at Miami, Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer confirmed.
Alonso had been running the altered floor last time out at Imola, though his time on the track testing it was cut short, after a hit from Mick Schumacher at the start later forced him to retire a few laps later when the sidepod shattered.
Alpine will be back for more data gathering at the first-ever Miami Grand Prix, where both Ocon and Alonso will be running this floor.
Szafnauer did confirm though that from the data which they did gather in Imola, they saw that the upgrade was working.
What a welcome 🤩#MiamiGP pic.twitter.com/l60dgXcTVk
— BWT Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) May 5, 2022
“The upgrades we brought to the A522 worked as expected in Imola, which is a great sign that the hard work behind the scenes at the factory is paying off, especially in developing and validating these aerodynamic updates,” confirmed Szafnauer in Alpine’s preview of the event.
“As a result of those efforts, the new spec floor we had on Fernando’s car will be on both cars this weekend.
“Although Fernando’s floor suffered significant damage in the race because of the first lap incident with Mick [Schumacher], we were able to recover the part and make the necessary repairs. It’s great that both cars have the upgrade, which performed to expectations.
“There’s more to come in the coming races in this very important and intense development race.”
Qualifying has not been a problem for Alpine, with Alonso even looking like a pole contender in Australia before a hydraulic problem caused him to crash out.
Race pace though is yet to match the standard which Alpine set over one-lap, something which Szafnauer says the team are working on in order to improve, without taking a clear hit in qualifying.
“As we’ve seen at the first four races, our low fuel, qualifying pace looks very competitive,” said Szafnauer.
“That said, points are scored on Sundays, so while we qualify well, we need to capitalise on these promising starting positions.
“The team has been working hard to identify these areas and work through different set-up changes to help improve our race pace while also managing our tyres a bit differently.
“It’s a fine balance between improving race pace without impacting our qualifying speed.”
Imola represented Ocon’s first race of 2022 where he failed to score a point, having finished no lower than P7 during the opening three rounds.
So, the Frenchman, and the whole Alpine team in general, are determined to bounce straight back on new turf in Miami.
“Imola was a frustrating weekend for the team,” he admitted.
“It is clear that there are areas we must improve on. The first three races were good for me and not being in the points in Italy will serve as further motivation for everyone to bounce back in Miami.
“The whole team is looking forward to it and we know if we do things right, we will be able to extract the potential we know this car has, and deliver the results we are capable of.
“We’ll be bringing a few upgrades to the car which hopefully work in our favour and can address the lack of pace I had in Italy. I’m sure Fernando will be fast again so we hope to be in a position to be competitive in the midfield and leave Florida with a haul of points.”
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