Alpine is working hard to stabilise its Formula 1 team and keep pushing towards success.
That is the word from the Renault-linked outfit’s two drivers, who gave interviews at Suzuka to Agence France-Presse.
For Alpine, 2023 has been nothing short of tumultuous – with fluctuating performance, repeated mechanical breakdowns, and management turmoil including the recent ousting of team boss Otmar Szafnauer.
Esteban Ocon, however, insists “the atmosphere is still good” both at the track and at Enstone.
Fellow Frenchman Pierre Gasly has struggled more with the situation as he arrived from Alpha Tauri over the winter.
“At the start of the season, there were already a lot of changes. And after six months, we see that things were changing again,” Gasly said.
“But we haven’t hidden ourselves away,” he insisted. “It’s true that there was a lack of results, and I think we are all disappointed about that.
“It hasn’t been the best start to the season in terms of car performance. But since the changes I have to say there is definitely a positive momentum,” Gasly added.
“We’ve had some very good weekends, but it is true that we are below the expectations that we had set.”
Ocon, who retired in Singapore with a gearbox failure, added: “We’ve had some races where we were competitive and where we were able to seize opportunities, and others where we were a little less good, with some problems.”
Gasly explained: “The car can perform well on certain circuits but is less good on other, fastest circuits. That has cost us this year.”
It has been rumoured that Renault’s is the least powerful power unit on the grid, with the Alpine team pushing the FIA to be allowed to tweak it despite the engine ‘freeze’.
When asked what the current car is missing, Ocon answered: “That’s a good question.
“Honestly, Formula 1 is constant work. There is a lot of detail in lots of different departments. But we know we can do better and we are working on it.”