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Alpine F1 Team

Szafnauer explains Alpine's key improvement made in 2022

One of the main weaknesses of the Alpine team was addressed when Otmar Szafnauer came in as Team Principal at the beginning of 2022, Szafnauer has explained.

Ocon Austria
To news overview © XPB

While it's well documented that Alpine had their fair share of reliability issues with Fernando Alonso in 2022, they still produced one of their most competitive years in the midfield.

This is because they made some key improvements in the lead times to produce car upgrades, which enabled them to finish ahead of McLaren in the Constructors' Championship.

Otmar Szafnauer says this was one of the first areas he looked at when he joined as Team Principal at the start of 2022.

"One of the big things I did when I first got here was look at how long it takes us to bring upgrades to the track. It took us a long time, longer than I was used to at other places," he told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"We had a just a bit of a subgroup to look at how we could do things differently, release things a little bit earlier from the tunnel and start some of the engineering work early."

Szafnauer: Car did improve because of changes to upgrade process

With the introduction of the 'new era' F1 cars in 2022, which rely more on ground effect aerodynamics, the floor is one of the key components that teams must develop throughout the year.

Alpine admitted they got lucky at the start of the season because they were one of the few teams whose floor design did not suffer from porpoising.

The changes made to increase the part production enabled Alpine to come to races with double the amount of floor developments throughout the year.

"One of the big things was to be able to bring floors in almost half the time," explained Szafnauer.

"I think we had four different versions of the floor and you have to bring five of each one of those.

"It's a big component, [it] takes a long time from finding it in the wind tunnel to delivering it on track. And if you can squeeze that, you can bring four instead of two upgrades, and you're better off.

"So I think that was one thing we did well this year and I think because of it, you saw the car did improve from where we started."

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Check out our handy explainer video below.


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