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Alpine F1 Team

Alpine team boss 'overruled by engineers' on Ferrari challenge

Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer says he was overruled by the team engineers during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on whether they should challenge Ferrari.

Ocon Saudi
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer believes Alpine could have challenged Ferrari during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Both Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly were running in P8 and P9 respectively behind Charles Leclerc, and were matching the Ferrari driver's lap times in the 1:34s during the closing stages of the race.

But, with 10 laps to go, both drivers backed off, with Szafnauer claiming he was wanting to overtake the Ferraris but was overruled by the engineers.

"We were in no man's land for a while and then we turned the car down. We were conservative on the tyres, just to make sure they lasted till the end," he said to Sky Sports F1.

"I was hoping we could push up a little bit more to the Ferraris, but was overruled by the engineers."

Alpine to investigate pace drop off

Alpine showed encouraging pace during Friday practice, with Ocon displaying good race pace during FP2.

However this seemed to disappear on Saturday as they struggled to qualify higher than P7 and P10 on the grid.

"We've got to look at it. We don't run light [fuel] on Friday, so it's not the amount of fuel we have in," said Szafnauer.

"We just we have to analyse it and see where we can do a little bit better on Sunday versus Friday."

Also interesting:

Join RacingNews365.com journalists Michael Butterworth and Dieter Rencken, with new host Balve Baines, as they discuss the key talking points from the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

F1 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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