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Formula 1 Austrian GP

Why Alpine "need" Silverstone F1 upgrades to be a step forward

Esteban Ocon has declared that Alpine "need" its Silverstone upgrade package to be a step forward after rival Formula 1 teams have made significant recent progress.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523

After a strong recent run, Alpine had a below-par weekend in Austria, with the only highlights a seventh for Ocon in the rain-affected sprint and 10th in the Grand Prix for Pierre Gasly - after a post-race penalty relegated him one position.

In contrast to rivals such as Ferrari and McLaren, the team didn’t bring any updates to the Red Bull Ring. But the introduction of a new front wing at the British Grand Prix this weekend and a revised floor, scheduled for two races later at Spa, are hoped to close the gap once more.

“Many teams made steps in the last two races and we definitely need to make one as well, so I look forward to seeing what we can do," said Ocon.

"We are still focused on the teams in front of us, that's very clear, but we can see that the teams behind are also pushing forward.”

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Asked about the wing by Autosport, Gasly added: “It’s definitely going to bring us some performance and, hopefully, Silverstone can be a track that suits us a bit better, as Austria is always a bit particular.

"Looking forward to next weekend, and seeing what we get out of it."

The Sprint format used for the second time this year at the Red Bull Ring meant teams had only a single practice session to prepare their cars for qualifying on Friday, which limited time for trialling new parts. 

Pierre Gasly, Alpine A523, Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri AT04, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60

Pierre Gasly, Alpine A523, Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri AT04, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Insisting this latest development was not pushed back as a result of the scheduling, Ocon said: "I don't think the reason was to have a stable weekend because there's only one practice session. Nowadays, the updates, you fit and forget.

“And yes, you can always optimise how you make them work. That's very true. But overall, it's always a step forward.

“What we're going to fit in Silverstone is going to be a step forward, and we have some more stuff coming before shutdown as well."

The progress of McLaren in Austria - highlighted by Lando Norris' drive to fourth with a full raft of upgrades - saw Alpine's hold on fifth in the constructors' standings drop to 18 points. 

Despite beating both Mercedes drivers and Lance Stroll's Aston Martin, Gasly conceded: "Ultimately, we want to fight for better positions. I was chasing Fernando [Alonso] at the start of the race, and I'm just consistently losing these two or three-tenths.

“That's what we are lacking at the moment to really take the fight to the two Mercedes, and Alonso in front of us.”

He added: “I will say those two or three-tenths compared to Mercedes and Aston is probably what we're missing since the start of the year. McLaren did a big step. Is it only us?

"I'm not too sure, but we will review, and we need to find those two or three-tenths that we are lacking.”

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