Alpine is working to sustain an aggressive development path for the remainder of 2023, as the team’s Technical Director, Matt Harman, explained.
The A523 machine has proven – like many of Alpine’s cars in recent years – capable of fighting at the front of the midfield but lacks the pace to compete with the front-runners.
Otmar Szafnauer, Laurent Rossi and other senior personnel at the French outfit have spoken frequently about the “100 race plan” to become contenders in F1 – first setting out this timeline in 2021.
Despite becoming an established team in the midfield, Alpine has failed to use this platform to make the jump in performance many have expected from a team their level of resources.
After all, as a manufacturer team, Alpine should have been better placed to make the kind of progress that Aston Martin has achieved over the last twelve months.
The French outfit is simultaneously fast enough to make regular podiums a feasible target whilst also being too slow to fight for them in the short term.
Speaking ahead of the Azerbaijan GP, Technical Director Matt Harman has outlined the team’s development plans for 2023:
“We will take a new floor to Baku, amongst other aerodynamic and mechanical elements.
“Then we will have greater development in the next race, in Miami, and something else for Imola after that.
“This constant thread [of upgrades] will continue throughout the season, since we have more upgrades planned for most events.
“In the short term, what we have for Baku, Miami, and Imola is a reasonable step – though not as significant as some of the media speculation in recent weeks.
“It is important to keep an aggressive rate of development if we want to continue progressing towards our performance expectations.
“Credit must be given to the work going on behind the scenes at both factories in Viry and Enstone in meeting development targets and finding the improvements to make the car faster.”
The Australia collision between Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon has certainly eaten into some of Alpine’s allocated crash budget, but the team insists this will not delay their developments.
This incident was no doubt costly and will give the Enstone team less margin for error moving forward – especially considering the prevalence of Sprint races.
However, whilst the points lost in Melbourne were not insignificant, Alpine’s success in 2023 will be far more dependent on the efficacy of the updates they will introduce in the upcoming rounds.