Alpine is one of the teams that has surprised the most in the first three races of the 2022 Formula 1 season, at least in terms of performance. The A522, both with Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon, has shown great potential.
However, the reliability problems, very prevalent with the Asturian, have prevented the car from achieving a great spoil of points, since it only rises to 22 after the race in Melbourne.
Regardless of the issue of reliability, which is very important and which they will have to take into account at Enstone if they really want to fight to be at least fourth in the team standings, Alonso and Ocon have reason to smile, thanks to the performance they has shown the single-seater.
At Albert Park , the Spaniard looked to have a chance of fighting for the front two rows of the grid before a hydraulic gearbox problem led to him crashing into the wall.
Later, in the race, Alonso was again unlucky with the safety car periods but, in hindsight, taking into account Verstappen’s retirement, the podium could have been within his grasp. Ocon, for his part, finished seventh after a race without great emotions, but very regular.
This is a sign of how well the cars returned to blue, after the short hiatus with pink bodywork in the first two sponsorship dates.
It could be a simple question of the chassis, but it is not, and that is that Otmar Szafnauer , boss of Alpine, has repeatedly highlighted the work of Renault engineers in Viry. The freezing of the power units happened at the beginning of the season and it seems that they are no longer a weak point for the French cars.
In fact, the manager stated that, according to the team’s estimates, the Renault power units that equip the A522 have only 10 CV less than the best power unit. This is a huge improvement, which could allow Alpine to fight for fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship until the end of the season.
“We think we’ve made a step forward relative to the power unit and we’re probably 10 horsepower away from the best. We’re around there, you know. This is all good, it’s very encouraging, also taking into account the freezing of the unit. of power”.
“This allows us to work closely with our power unit team and think about changes to the chassis architecture. It will leave us to focus a lot on improving the chassis and we owe a lot to the work done by our engineers at Viry. us continue to develop the A522″.
According to Szafnauer, the 2022 world championships have started in the best possible way for the category, with a fight between the teams to win races, but the fight in the middle zone is even bigger and fiercer.
Alpine ‘s objective is fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship, but Mercedes’ slow start, especially considering the presence of the budget limit, opens horizons that seemed ruled out until the pre-season tests arrived.
“From what I’ve seen in the first few races, there is a lot of interest in this F1. Two teams have won races already, and that’s good. Mercedes hasn’t won yet, but it’s second in the Constructors’ Championship, which is another good thing.”
“Afterwards, there is a lot of fighting in the middle of the grid, a lot of people who can stand out and be the best in that context. We will do everything to be the best team in that part of the qualifying. We will work hard to make sure that be”.
“I think the budget cap is a big help, because in the past the teams with problems, like Mercedes, would also have invested large sums of money to recover.
“Now one of the biggest factors, even for Mercedes, is the budget cap, which forces them not to spend such amounts of money and to recover quickly. That helps. And honestly, I think that’s the case for everyone. So I hope not change,” concluded the Alpine manager.