A difficult start to the season for the team led by pilot Pierre Gasly in Formula 1 who are asking for budget improvements to continue successfully
Alpine, stuck with outdated installations, seeks an exception to the budget constraint similar to the one granted to Aston Martin. The request, led by Otmar Szafnauer, team principal, includes the construction of a new transmission test bench, among other things. So Alpine has been in the spotlight this season, but for the wrong reasons.
after a triple penalty for Esteban Ocon in Bahrain, a double accident in Australia and a rough Friday day in Azerbaijan, the pressure on the team has intensified. Laurent Rossi, CEO of Alpine, deviated from the norm by publicly criticizing his team for his performances, calling it “unacceptable” and “amateur”. In addition, he came to question the continuity of Szafnauer, whom he reminded that the final responsibility rests with him.
Beyond performances on track
According to Szafnauer, Alpine’s difficulties they go beyond the problems on the track. The team is handicapped by an infrastructure that is not up to par, with an old wind tunnel, model McLaren, and outdated simulation tools. “Our current simulator is 15 to 20 years old. It is an old McLaren model. We have ordered a new and modern simulator a month ago.
But it won’t be ready for another one and a half to two years. That’s how long it takes for these things to be built,” explains Szafnauer. The team too You need a new dyno for your transmission. However, to design or buy everything they need, Szafnauer says they need some leeway on the budget cap, a flexibility he reveals was given to Aston Martin.
Need for new budget flexibility
“We need to talk to the FIA to that the necessary investments do not fall under the budget ceiling. Otherwise, you’re stuck with your existing infrastructure,” he says. “We have to build a new transmission test bed by 2026. That leaves no room for other measures.” But the adaptation to the Aston Martin style does not end there.
Szafnauer mentions the recruiting strategy of his old team, where Aston Martin signed many Red Bull professionals and Mercedes. “Aston brought in a lot of people from Red Bull and Mercedes, not just Dan Fallows and Eric Blandin, who everyone is talking about now,” he says. But he adds that these kinds of moves take time. “People who can help the team and make a difference are often on long-term contracts.”