The inaugural Qatar Grand Prix proved to be a big problem for the Pirelli tyres on account of a mix of high-speed corners and aggressive kerbs on the Losail Worldwide Circuit.
Throughout Sunday’s race, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas, McLaren driver Lando Norris and each Williams automobiles of George Russell and Nicholas Latifi all suffered left-front tyre failures as they tried what Pirelli known as a “marginal” one-stop technique.
After the race, Pirelli vowed to launch an investigation into the 4 tyre failures, suggesting they “might be the results of very excessive put on mixed with high-speed impacts towards kerbs which are very aggressive at Losail.”
Alpine’s government director Budkowski admitted that his group was additionally involved about whether or not Alonso’s left-front tyre would maintain amid excessive degradation.
Alonso and teammate Esteban Ocon each opted for a one-stop technique on their runs to 3rd and fifth, Alpine’s finest outcome since successful the Hungarian Grand Prix earlier than the summer time break.
The group realised there was no method again as soon as its drivers had dedicated to a one-stopper and it subsequently instructed them early on to remain off the kerbs and handle the tyres.
However that cautious method additionally put Alonso and Ocon below risk from Purple Bull’s two-stopping Sergio Perez. The Mexican managed to go Ocon for fourth however completed 2.eight seconds shy of Alonso, having began the ultimate tour 5 seconds behind.
“Everyone actually labored exhausting to make that tyre final till the previous couple of laps, so yeah, it was aggravating,” Budkowski stated.
“We knew if we stopped we would not get something. We managed these tyres fairly early, but in addition we understood that avoiding the kerbs was key and we instructed our drivers to try this.
“On the final lap I noticed all of the mechanics leaping on the grid, I used to be like ‘no, no, no, there’s a few extra corners left’. Simply because we… truthfully it was a query of some corners whether or not we’d make it or not.”
Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon, Alpine have a good time with the group
Photograph by: Alpine
Budkowski added that he wasn’t anxious from a security standpoint on condition that it was solely the left-front tyre that was vital.
“Look, there was no security concern. Should you puncture the entrance tyre, you simply lose the entrance finish and also you slide,” he defined.
“The rear tyre is a bit totally different as a result of if you happen to lose a rear tyre, you may spin and go off observe.
“We have been assured we’re not placing anybody in danger there however clearly, we’re placing our race and our factors in danger.”
Alonso, who secured his first podium since 2014, stated he wasn’t fascinated with potential failures from the cockpit, and thought he nonetheless had a bit of additional margin.
“I do not know, I do not assume it was too unhealthy for us,” he stated.
“Plainly our automotive is type on tyres. We did a one-stop additionally in Brazil final week and I believe we had some margin to maintain pushing slightly bit extra, however you by no means know.”