Alpine drivers’ ‘biggest complaint’ revealed

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Alpine Team Principal Bruno Famin has detailed the biggest weakness of the team’s A524 Formula 1 car.

Following a difficult pre-season test in Bahrain, it was hinted that the Enstone-based squad could be in possession of one of the slowest cars on the grid.

Its fears were realised during qualifying for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix as its drivers Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly locked out the final row of the grid.

Alpine again failed to impress across a single lap in Saudi Arabia with both drivers being eliminated in the first segment of the qualifying session.

Speaking to media including RacingNews365, Famin revealed: “One of the biggest complaints of the driver, it’s not a secret, because we can hear it on the radio, it’s the lack of traction.

“That’s why in Bahrain, where we really need very good traction with the slow corners, it was especially difficult.”

Alpine admit ‘shock’ over slowest car

Alpine has faced a series of senior personnel exits over the last year, with RacingNews365 revealing earlier this month that Technical Director Matt Harman and Head of Aerodynamics Dirk de Beer handed in their resignations prior to the launch of the car.

A new technical structure has since been put in place with Ciaron Pilbeam as Technical Director (Performance), David Wheater as Technical Director (Aerodynamics) and Joe Burnell as Technical Director (Engineering).

Despite realising that its car would likely be uncompetitive, Famin conceded: “It was a shock because we were really expecting a difficult start of the season, we knew this, and this is what we said during the launch of our car,” he said.

“But to be on the last row in the quali was a shock, to be honest. It just confirmed the need of changing in our team, and we made the change.

“We understand the issues. The main issues are quite clear. I think we have to remember also that we were at the first race of the season, which is very long. The car is totally new. We have developments coming.

“We will work hard in developing that car. But of course, understanding what are the problems is key to solve it. And we have a quite clear idea of what are the problems and we are really working hard.”

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