Alpine could be set for a step up in power in 2022, if Renault are able to find reliability with their new power unit.
According to a report in German media, the new Renault power unit has shown very good figures on the test benches at their base in Viry-Chatillon.
With an estimated deficit of 35 horsepower compared to the output of Mercedes, the new power unit has had to factor in the requirement to run 10 percent ethanol. This is an additional headache for all the engine manufacturers, with Ferrari reportedly already managing to recoup the losses from the introduction of the new E10 fuel.
According to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, the new Renault engine should be a much more powerful proposition but there are some concerns about reliability.
"If we can get the engine stable, we'll make a big leap," an undisclosed source told AMuS.
With the team running a car that hadn't fundamentally changed between 2019 and 2021, the all-new 2022 regulations could represent a big leap forward for the team after finishing fifth in 2021 despite their old tech.
"That means that we have improved in all other disciplines. And that could help us next year," Executive Director Marcin Budkowski is quoted by AMuS.
An inconsistent season
Alpine's 2021 season was a confusing one, as the car could go from being one of the slowest to one of the quickest, depending on the circuit.
Development of the 2021 car ended early, with the last updates brought along to Azerbaijan. But as their understanding of the car improved, so did the performance, to the point that Fernando Alonso scored a podium in Qatar to add to Esteban Ocon's race win in Hungary.
"We were always strong on the tracks where the front tyre was the limiting factor," an engineer is quoted by the German publication.
"Traction was our weakness. And our car didn't like bumps."
But that increased understanding gleaned during 2021 won't translate into any useful information for 2022.
"Unfortunately, we cannot save too much of this understanding into the next year," team advisor Alain Prost told AMuS.
"The aerodynamics are too different [with the new cars] for that."
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