Not very reassuring on the track this season, the 2021 Alpine single-seater does not concentrate all the hopes of Laurent Rossi. The team boss said the car for 2022 will be “the best ever”.
Isn’t Alpine already throwing 2021 into oblivion? After a very disappointing performance at the inaugural Grand Prix of the season in Bahrain on March 28, Renault’s successor in F1 was somewhat worried. Laurent Rossi, CEO of Alpine F1 since January, conceded on Wednesday to the Formula 1 site that their single-seater had already reached its full potential. “We know we’ve more or less hit the limit on this car anyway,” he concedes.
Bad omen for this season, but the Frenchman wants to be very ambitious on the car of the next year, where it is question of the biggest upheaval of regulation in the history of the discipline. 2022 will also be the year of the first car to be truly designed by Alpine, since this season’s car looks a lot like its 2020 predecessor. “We’re going to extract as much as we can from this car, use it to refine the organization of the cars. operations, and in the meantime, ensure that we are building the best car ever designed for the next regulatory era, ”said Cyril Abiteboul’s replacement. “I am very confident that this new mayonnaise will taste great next year. We’re French, so we know a thing or two about mayonnaise, ”he slips with a tone of humor.
2021 promises to be very long for Alonso and Ocon
However, what can give rise to a smile are the performance of its current single-seater. Whether during winter practice, free practice, qualifying but above all in the race, the A521 has never found the pace in Bahrain. She suffered terribly when she put on the medium tires during the race and even seemed to be a cut below the Alfa Romeos. If the 2021 version car is almost the same as the 2020 one, a few regulatory changes have slowed the cars down.
For economic reasons linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, the FIA had “frozen” certain essential parts of the 2020 cars so that the financially powerful teams do not take a colossal advantage on smaller budgets. But in order to slow down its cars, the FIA still pushed the teams to modify mainly the rear of the single-seaters, in particular to reduce tire wear. Some teams were able to make up for this loss at the rear, others like Alpine, Aston Martin and also Mercedes had a lot more trouble adapting.
The French team, which will make improvements at the next Grand Prix at Imola on April 18, are set to go through a complicated season. It does not seem to bother more than that the leaders who, like Haas, almost willingly abandon this year 2021 to better prepare for 2022. This is also why Fernando Alonso was hired by Alpine . “We have a double world champion who will provide his expertise. I think we are on the first leg of a long journey, but I am very confident, ”boasts Laurent Rossi. He will be able to use all his experience, he who has already experienced a number of major regulatory changes.