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Alpine F1 Team

How Alpine plan to get on top of the issues hurting Alonso's F1 return

Fernando Alonso was forced to start from the back of the grid at the Austrian Grand Prix after a mechanical issue left him unable to compete in Saturday's Sprint. Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer admits that the team have work to do in resolving their "niggles".

Alonso Austria
To news overview © XPB

Alpine are determined to iron out the "new" issues that they have been facing after another challenging weekend for Fernando Alonso.

The team looked strong as the Austrian Grand Prix proceedings got underway, with Esteban Ocon and Alonso securing P5 and P8 respectively in Friday's qualifying session.

However, bad luck again struck Alonso when his car experienced an electrical issue just before Saturday's Sprint began, meaning that he was unable to participate.

As such, the Spaniard started Sunday's main race from the back of the field. Despite an issue with his first pit-stop under the late-race Virtual Safety Car forcing him to pit again, Alonso eventually finished the event in P10.

Szafnauer hopes Alpine can iron out issues

Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal at Alpine, admits that the team have experienced a few "niggles" throughout the season, but believes that the latest issues to occur are new and unconnected.

As such, he hopes that the squad can work to fix them before they continue to appear.

"They're new, and they're not connected," Szafnauer told media, including RacingNews365.com, when asked about the issues.

"But having said that, we've got to work hard to get rid of all the niggles. The difficulty is, once you have the niggle, you should fix it forever, so it never crops up again.

"But what you don't know is what's around the corner, because if you did, you'd fix it before you got around the corner.

"So hopefully, as we go on in time and we fix the niggles, the around the corner thing will be nothing and we'll have some clean weekends."

Cause of Alonso's Sprint problems explained

In terms of what caused Alonso's issues before the Sprint, Szafnauer says that this was down to a component that the team buys in, rather than it being something they make themselves.

"It could happen to anyone," Szafnauer explained.

"I don't think that's an Alpine issue. We don't quite know the root cause yet, but all indications are that the ECU [Electronic Control Unit] failed.

"It's not something we designed, it's not something we make. It's something we buy. Did it fail on an Alpine car because of where it is in the car or the installation or something? I doubt it.

"But we need to find why it failed, and the root cause of it."

With both Alonso and Ocon finishing within the points in Austria, Alpine are now on equal points with McLaren as they battle for fourth in the Constructors' Championship.

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