Alpine, the Renault-owned Formula 1 team, is strategizing to close an engine performance gap in 2024. The team, in the face of the power unit freeze in F1, grappled with the challenge this year, as their request to catch up with competitors was denied.
The team’s deputy boss, Bruno Famin, shared with Auto Motor und Sport the struggles Alpine faced. “We were always faced with the conflict between engine performance and aerodynamics. The more power we gave the engine, the worse it became for the aerodynamics,” he explained.
Famin pinpointed the issue not in the engine itself, but in the energy recovery or electrical systems. “We recuperate less energy than the competition and therefore produce less electrical power,” he admitted. However, he sees a potential remedy in software improvements. “We can improve the energy management software. It won’t give us more horsepower, but it will give us better driving characteristics,” said Famin.
Engine performance, however, wasn’t Alpine’s sole hurdle. The Enstone-based team, which also faced management and ownership changes, managed only three major car upgrades throughout the season. “We were overtaken aerodynamically by the competition as the season progressed,” Famin conceded.
Technical director Matt Harman explained further challenges: “Our chassis has too much volume. We had another upgrade to the floor on the table, but to take full advantage of it, we would have needed a new chassis.” Alpine plans to address these issues with a new chassis, transmission, and suspension for 2024.
Pierre Gasly, the team’s driver, shared his perspective with the Spanish sports daily AS. While acknowledging the season’s disappointments, Gasly focused on the positives: “It’s difficult to say you’re satisfied with a season if you haven’t scored many points,” he said. “It’s been a bit disappointing in terms of performance, although personally I’m happy with the step I have taken. I joined a new team, there was a lot to learn, and I feel like I accomplished my goal of trying to get everything out of the car every weekend. I just wish we were fighting for better positions, but I feel like we are working well as a team.”