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Alpine F1 team making changes “on the fly” amid nightmare Baku Friday



However, he insists that Enstone has no regrets about its decision to give the A523 a major upgrade over the sprint weekend, even though they know they have limited time to hone it.

All teams have only one FP1 session in preparation for qualifying on Friday afternoon.

Pierre Gasly missed most of the race after a hydraulic leak caused a fire, while his teammate Esteban Ocon had to remain in the garage after discovering the problem.

Before qualifying, Alpine’s mechanics scrambled to install a new powerplant and gearbox on Gasly’s car after it was belatedly returned from the track pit.

Their efforts didn’t pay off, however, when Gasly crashed badly early in Q1, leaving him at the back of the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Meanwhile, Ocon recovered from a limited practice setback to qualify 12th and the team made some setup gambles with limited knowledge.

Szafnauer admits that FP1’s problems are making life difficult for it.

“Unfortunately we had a hydraulic leak which caused Pierre’s car to catch fire,” he told Autosport.

“Then, when we brought Esteban in, we also noticed a potential problem with the rear of the gearbox and decided to investigate further before putting him on the field again.

“Also, it turned out that it was a glitch on Esteban’s car. But there wasn’t enough time to go downstairs, investigate, and go upstairs again. By then, the meeting was over. We lost half of the the match of.”

Szafnauer said the lost track time was costly as the team was unable to complete a planned job on a new floor kit for both cars.

Otmar Szafnauer, Alpine F1 Team Principal

Otmar Szafnauer, Alpine F1 Team Principal

Photography: Simon Galloway/ motorsport pictures

“They’re all behind because when you do an upgrade, the first thing you do is start dialing it in,” he said.

“We had an hour to do an upgrade, it wasn’t a minor upgrade, it was a new floor.

“With a new floor, you have to do all kinds of different iterations of the setup to get it to work, and unfortunately we didn’t have the opportunity to do that.

“We had reliability issues with what we built ourselves. But once you don’t have a chance to get the car set up properly for a new upgrade, you’re always on the back foot.”

Szafnauer admitted the team made life difficult by bringing the new kit to sprint weekends knowing that sprint practice would be limited.

However, he insists that if the session is more fluid, there will be plenty of time to optimize it.

“We made that choice,” he said. “Maybe it bites us, but we can’t predict reliability issues. If we knew we had half an hour of FP1, we would have made different choices.

“So hindsight is a lovely thing here. But there was an hour, and we thought we had plenty of time to make the necessary settings changes.

“I mean, we were tweaking the settings on the fly in qualifying in Esteban’s car. And he was getting faster and faster. He made a small mistake in the last corner and it cost him about ten in lap Q2. half past two.

“If he hadn’t made that little mistake, maybe everybody could have said those things and he’d be in Q3. He barely got out of Q1.

“Then we learned from that and made some setup changes and it got faster. So I’m looking forward to calling the new floor and seeing where we are.

“Let’s see what happens on Saturday. We have more time to prepare through the night than between meetings. So we’ll get the car ready and do more work.”

Given the tough day, Szafnauer questioned the wisdom of sprinting on a challenging street course.

“If the new format is what we’re going to be doing in the future, I think we have to look carefully at the types of circuits that we have in that format,” he said.

“Maybe you don’t want to be in Baku, Monaco, Singapore or Canada where if you make a small mistake you know your day is ruined. So we just have to be careful.”


Formula E qualifying in Jakarta: Günther on pole again




Maximilian Günther kept his form from rounds 10 to 11 in Jakarta. There, too, the German-Austrian driver secured pole position.

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Barcelona F1 qualifying pace a ‘confirming moment’ for Alpine




Pierre Gasly repeated Ocon’s performance at the Principality, finishing fourth on a day when others failed to get it right, although he was later held back by Carlos Sainz ) and Max Verstappen were relegated six places.

Ocon, meanwhile, had a less-than-perfect lap in Q3 but was still seventh ahead of Sunday’s grid thanks to a team-mate’s penalty.

“It’s fantastic,” Ocon said when asked by Autosport about the car being fourth fastest again.

“If you had told me two games ago, I wouldn’t have believed it.

“Credit to Viry and Enstone for the work they’ve done, as those upgrades we’ve brought to them are clearly working.

“It’s a moment of confirmation after Monaco, the car is obviously more dynamic, so we’re happy.”

Ocon admitted he didn’t have the best overtake on the final lap, which contributed to his lack of Gasly.

“We optimized very well in all qualifying sessions, except for my performance in Q3,” he explained.

“Probably the tires weren’t as good at the start of the lap as all the other runs we maxed out, and in the rear I didn’t have that good grip.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine F1 Team

Esteban Ocon, Alpine F1 Team

Photography: Erik Junius

“It was a bit like Fernando (Alonso), I lost the rear entry to Turn 10, I went a little wide and I lost a lot of lap time there. So there was definitely more possibility today, but it was A great place to start.

“I was really happy today because it was so close and it meant that if we had good lap times we could be there, which is fantastic.

“I hope F1 will stay like this for a long time, and P1 will do likewise.”

Before his penalty was confirmed, Gasly responded to Ocon’s statement about the state of the team.

“I’m very happy for the team because it’s the best qualifying of the season,” he said.

“It’s more important than the result itself. I’m happy with the evolution we’ve shown over the past few weekends.

“It’s early in the season and I’m getting to know the team every weekend. They’re getting to know myself, you know, it’s about putting things together. I really feel like every weekend, we’re taking a step forward. .

“It was a really strong lap. I always look further. When I see Carlos coming in second with less than 10th, it really shows that we are on the gear we have There is potential, and the upgrades are working.

“Overall, there are a lot of positives in this qualifying session.”

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De Vries predicts Spanish Grand Prix: 'Lots of relegation to tyres'




Nyck de Vries has performed much better in Monaco than at previous Grands Prix this season. The Dutch seem to have brought this form to the Spanish country. Around Barcelona, ​​the AlphaTauri drivers had a great time. He started the race in 14th place. In a press conference with GPblog and others, De Vries looked to the future.

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