Alpine clinched P4 within the constructors’ championship on the ultimate race in Abu Dhabi, ending the yr 14 factors away from McLaren and ending because the main midfield staff behind Purple Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes.
Whereas McLaren opted for much less frequent however greater growth packages over the season, Alpine took a extra common method to carry new automobile upgrades for Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso to make use of.
It allowed the staff to keep up a sustained growth trajectory over the season, which staff principal Szafnauer thought was top-of-the-line on the grid.
“We’ll need to look – I do not know, I have never appeared, however now we have to have a look at the improve slope, the slope of enchancment, to see how we fared with a few of the others,” stated Szafnauer.
“However I feel we’re top-of-the-line, from the place we began to the place we ended. Possibly Mercedes is up there too.”
The run to fourth for Alpine marked an enormous turnaround from where the team stood at the opening pre-season test in Barcelona, which left the staff “in shambles” based on Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi.
Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1 A522
Photograph by: Erik Junius
The opening take a look at noticed Alpine make a low-key begin to life beneath the brand new laws because it did not make a lot of an impression close to the pinnacle of the timesheets, however Szafnauer defined that it was cautious of pushing its automobile too quickly out of the blocks given the reliability challenges many had been going through.
“The primary take a look at had its issues for a few causes, primarily as a result of we did wish to push the efficiency envelope,” stated Szafnauer.
“However meaning a few issues: one, taking dangers on the engines, on the efficiency facet, not being conservative on the reliability facet, and we have seen that, however we are able to repair the reliability.
“And two, with the chassis, to push efficiency, it simply means it’s a must to iterate longer earlier than you launch elements for the actual automobile. And that signifies that you are beneath stress to supply them on time.
“If something goes fallacious within the manufacturing, then it is fairly important, and we did each issues final yr. In order that meant initially we had been a bit struggling.
“However then we acquired on high of getting sufficient automobile elements, began to grasp the automobile, after which the updates got here.”