Alpine F1 car hindered by windtunnel problem

Alpine has revealed that a wind tunnel problem hampered its progress over the winter and put it on the back foot with its current Formula 1 challenger.

Alpine F1 car hindered by windtunnel problem

The French car manufacturer has slipped back against its main rivals this year, and it left the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix without scoring any points.

While the team is hopeful that an aggressive upgrade push can lift it up the grid, its executive director Marcin Budkowski says its difficulties can be traced back to troubles at the factory.

Reflecting on a challenging time at both the Bahrain test and race, Budkowski said: "Going into the test, we knew we experienced some headwind during the winter with some of the regulation changes, but also we had a few issues in the wind tunnel that slowed us in terms of development.

"We knew we didn't have the best possible winter. And therefore we were expecting to be on the back foot in terms of pace.

"Testing kind of confirmed that. We did make progress during the test with a few things we tested, they were an improvement, but we were on the back foot."

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Budkowski added that while Alpine's pace in Bahrain was not a surprise, what did catch the team out was which teams emerged as its main challengers.

"Interestingly, we ended up pretty much where we thought we would end up," he said. "But we got a wrong one on some of the cars that were in front of us and some of the cars that ended up behind us.

"But I don't think that we were the only ones, because talking to a few team management members from other teams, it seems that quite a few people saw the order to be a little bit different to what we saw at the race. But that's just a matter of order in terms of competitiveness, if you want, compared to the front."

Alpine has brought an upgrade package to Imola in a bid to improve its fortunes, which includes a new front wing and nose design.

Read Also:

Budkowski said that update had been planned for a while, but other developments were now being ramped up in the wake of its competitive situation.

"We're pushing hard to try to improve our performance and that is clear from the number of upgrades we are bringing here," he said.

"We are further behind than we'd like to be, so it's going to take a bit more than a few upgrades. And then I don't expect everybody else is waiting for us to bring upgrades, so everybody is going to improve their cars.

"It's a relative race. It looks like the car is going to progress this weekend with the upgrades we're bringing, but we've got more work to do in the next few races to bring a bit more."

shares
comments
F1 Emilia Romagna GP: Verstappen sets FP3 pace from Norris

Previous article

F1 Emilia Romagna GP: Verstappen sets FP3 pace from Norris

Next article

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Alpine
Author Jonathan Noble
Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Plus

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to STUART CODLING, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion

Formula 1
May 15, 2021
Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row? Plus

Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row?

Aston Martin claims Formula 1’s latest technical tweaks have cost it competitiveness – and that it’s the innocent victim of a regulatory stitch-up aimed at pegging back Mercedes. But is any of this actually true? It depends on who you ask, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
May 14, 2021
How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But is their rivalry destined to end in broken shards of carbon fibre?

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021