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Alpine F1 Team

Alpine reveal what their '100-race plan' actually is

Alpine technical director Matt Harman exclusively talks RacingNews365.com about what is in their so-called '100-race plan.'

Gasly Alpine
Interview
To news overview © XPBimages

In modern Formula 1, 100 races is about four seasons' worth of Grands Prix as the calendar continues to expand to record-breaking lengths.

It means the expiry date of declaring you will be in a position to fight for wins and podiums comes up ever quicker - with Alpine now just under a quarter of the way through their latest plan.

The Enstone squad were re-brought by Renault in 2016, declaring that they had a five-year plan to fight at the front - which came and went by the end of the '20 season with a couple of podiums and not much else.

Renault was rebranded as Alpine for 2021 - with CEO Laurent Rossi declaring the 100-race plan to get the team back into championship contention.

22 races into this latest plan to get to the top, and Alpine have finally shown some promise.

The 2022 A522 machine was good enough to secure fourth in the Constructors' as the team took a "risk" with their power unit to prioritise performance over reliability.

On the driver front, the team are locked in for the long-term as Pierre Gasly joins Esteban Ocon to create an all-French line-up.

But what actually is in the 100-race plan Alpine are working to?

What is in the 100-race plan?

"We've got a big plan, you've heard of it - our 100-race plan encompasses an awful lot of things," Harman exclusively told RacingNews365.com.

"It encompasses facilities, technology, simulation technologies and performance development where we apply developments at the circuit.

"The people we have, we're not just growing the number of people, we're growing the type of people we have and the particular expertise we need.

"For me, that's moving forward and we have got that target for [2023] of converging on that third place [in the Constructors'], but it is getting more and more difficult.

"I've had to make this jump before in another team (Mercedes) and it isn't easy, but fundamentally, we're not asking for it, we're doing something about it.

"There's things that you're yet to see that will arrive over the next few years and that's what we need to do: ratchet everything up at the same ratio.

How it is affected by the cost cap

In seasons gone, teams could simply spend as much money as they could to develop themselves to the front of F1, but Alpine now must do so under the budget cap restrictions.

In 2022, teams were only allowed to spend $145 million - although this was slightly increased to account for inflation and rising global energy costs.

And Harman believes that is simply means the team have to be better in developing their upgrades for Gasly and Ocon.

"It means you need to be more targeted," he says of the budget cap restrictions.

"You need to understand exactly what is performance, what are niceties, what things can be the icing on the cake, and what things are absolutely fundamental.

"That is part of our 100-race plan and we've clearly highlighted to Luca [de Meo, Renault CEO] and Laurent [Rossi] what we need and when we need it as part of the 100-race plan.

"It is all about making sure that we're focused on what performance is because there are a lot of things that we would have done in the past, which are nice to have, but are not absolutely essential.

"In this new cost cap era, we've got to just focus on the essential and that is what we are doing.

"To be honest, Laurent and Luca have been fantastic at providing us with what we need, and if we didn't have a cost cap, we'd still get what we needed.

"But we just need to be very, very, very careful that we spend in the right way under that [capital expenditures] restriction. The CAPEX restriction is as big as the OPEX (operating expenses) one."

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