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Why confident Alpine avoided low-fuel glory lap times

Although Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly did not light up the timing sheets during testing, the team is confident that it can produce the targets it has set on track.

Although Alpine had a muted start to pre-season testing, the team is staying bullish over its prospects for 2023. Both Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly completed 353 laps over the course of the three days without any major problems, the only hiccup occurring during pit stop practice when the team appeared to have an issue with the rear wheels. The team's best sector times were largely recorded outside the top ten for both Ocon and Gasly, however this could be due to the fact that the team chose not to focus on ultimate lap time. "We haven't taken the fuel out yet to see what we can do over one lap," said Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer to media, including RacingNews365.com . "My optimism comes from the fact that our long run pace looks pretty good and that we've had decent feedback from the drivers saying they're happy with the car. "It's predictable, there's no gremlins, no snappiness, however there is still some work to do."

Alpine want to 'experiment' with setup

Given the limited amount of testing in F1, some teams elected to use the three days of testing to experiment with the limitations of their car setup. Alpine has taken a similar approach to Ferrari , with Szafnauer saying the team does not want to give away too much with low fuel runs. "One reason we're not taking the fuel out is because in the three days, there was a lot of learning that we wanted to do and a lot of experiments that we wanted to get into," he explained. "If you do the low fuel running, it's not free, it comes at a cost and we didn't want to take that opportunity." Szafnauer was cautious about making any predictions of where they could end up, given the pace shown by other teams such as Aston Martin throughout the test. But he explained that bringing developments to the car throughout the season as a whole will be the key difference, something Alpine has focused on most as they plan to bring a day one update to the opening race. "Our target is to get close to the top three, a bit further away from the bottom five. Have we done it? It's too early to tell. I'm optimistic but a bit cautious, I think others have made steps too. "This year, like last, is going to be another year of relentless development and those that can bring developments to the car quickly and effectively, at the end of the day, will achieve."

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