Alpine’s breakthrough moment?: Glimpse of hope for Suzuka

Looking towards the upcoming Japanese Grand Prix, the Alpine team is eager to introduce critical upgrades that could potentially shift their fortunes in the 2024 Formula 1 season. Following shockingly underwhelming performances in Bahrain and Jeddah, the French pairing of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly found a glimmer of optimism in Melbourne, though minor issues ultimately marred their outcomes.

“It’s frustrating,” admitted Ocon in a discussion with Canal Plus, “because I was ahead of Magnussen, battling with Albon, right in the mix for those final points positions. But there will be new features on the car in Japan,” he disclosed, pointing towards the eagerly awaited updates for the next race at the legendary Suzuka circuit.

“We will have to see how much this brings us in performance,” he added, hinting at the crucial nature of the upgrades for Alpine’s competitive edge.

Gasly, meanwhile, downplayed his Sunday setbacks in Australia as “anecdotal,” suggesting that substantial improvements are needed before the team can even dream of points on merit. “We have to improve,” he stressed to Canal Plus. “We are still far from the performance level necessary to secure points.”

Currently, Alpine shares the unfortunate distinction with Williams and Sauber of not having scored any points in the first three races of the season. Gasly remains hopeful, however, about the potential impact of the upcoming upgrades. “I hope the new parts will bring us closer to the cars in front,” he said optimistically. “We know what to focus on, and we’re trying to do the best we can with what we have, which is what we’ve done so far.”

Identifying the areas needing improvement, Gasly stated, “What we are missing is very clear. There is no specific element – we must improve absolutely everything.”

He concluded with a note of confidence in the team’s direction, “But the whole team is working on it – a plan has been put in place. But we have to be realistic. It takes time. We must not hide that, but I have confidence in the team to make the right choices.”

GMM

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