SportF1Alpine unhappy with FIA aid to rivals in 2022

Alpine unhappy with FIA aid to rivals in 2022

The well-known porpoising has been one of the biggest concerns in the 2022 Formula 1 season since the winter tests, but some like Alpine do not feel this rebound effect so much in their cars.

For this reason, the Enstone team is not happy that the FIA approved before the start of the course the use of a support point at the bottom of the cars to limit movement, as explained by the team’s technical director, Pat Fry .

“I wouldn’t say we were that smart, but we designed our car for maximum performance, knowing it would be slightly overweight,” said the engineer.

This includes a stiffer lower body, which doesn’t flex or behave strangely when its drivers hit the throttle: “Our wide design also allows for a stronger body, and that’s helped us.”

Alpine are upset about the changing of the rules, and the fact that the competition is allowed to make improvements by anchoring them to the bottom of the cars is a “bit of frustration”, as Fry himself acknowledged.

“We don’t need it because our philosophy is already rigid enough, but I think that others benefit from it, it’s part of the business,” said the technical manager of the Gauls.

The Enstone outfit accept the change, and will try to “design around it in the next update”. Pat Fry went on to reveal a few more aspects of the A522 : “Of course you can build a lighter car, but we’ve already built in weight.”

Alpine must take a two-pronged approach to the development of its car, saving kilos on the one hand, and improving engine reliability and power on the other: “There is lap time everywhere, in the next two or three races we will have some improvements”.

“They’re all based on the knowledge we had, before we were on the track. There will be more to come later, looking at the interesting things that have been discovered in other cars,” Fry said.

However, Alpine’s priority is to make the A522 “as light as possible”: “We’re not that far above the minimum weight, but ideally a couple of kilos below it.”

For the engineers, this is “a real challenge, because to go over the curbs, you need stiffer and heavier parts that don’t break”, as the team’s technical director points out, “but with these cars and the damage, you’re suddenly so much more vulnerable.”

According to the boss of the French team, Otmar Szafnauer , “they have not yet reached their optimal level”, but “there is still more potential in the single-seater”. After leaving Aston Martin, the Romanian is exploring the running of the team, defending that “it’s great” and “he’s having a lot of fun”.

“It’s a top team, they’ve won some titles in the past, and the potential is there to do it again,” Alpine’s Formula 1 chief executive concluded.

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