Alpine "scared" itself in Bahrain with hot-weather struggles

Alpine wants to understand why its Formula 1 car is seemingly less competitive in hot conditions after it “scared” itself in the Bahrain afternoon sessions last month.

Alpine "scared" itself in Bahrain with hot-weather struggles

Alpine failed to score any points in its first grand prix since the rebrand of Renault’s works operation as it failed to take the fight to its upper-midfield rivals from 2020.

Esteban Ocon spent the majority of the race outside of the points after dropping out in Q1 and was hit by Sebastian Vettel in the closing stages. Teammate Fernando Alonso qualified ninth, and was on the fringes of the points before a brake issue forced him to retire after 32 laps.

Alpine found that the performance of its car fell below expectations in the warmer sessions in Bahrain, suggesting the team has some heat sensitivity to combat with the A521.

“It's fair to say we're less happy with the car in the hot sessions,” Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski explained. “FP3 [in Bahrain] was a bit more difficult for us, and we got back to a level of competitiveness that is more representative in the evening sessions, so FP2 and qualifying.

“The temperature has been quite extreme. It was hotter than during the test. I sat on the pit wall in the beginning of FP3 and it was 38ºC, I think 47-48ºC track temperature. That's way hotter than it was two weeks before at the test.

“Obviously they're the same for everyone, but you will have different cars reacting differently to these conditions. We scared ourselves a little bit, it's fair to say, on Friday morning. We were looking a bit uncompetitive and it's good to get back to somewhere a bit more competitive.

“We're still a bit short of two-or-three-tenths to actually be fighting with the people we aim to fight with.”

Read Also:

Alpine is planning to bring a “pretty decent” upgrade package to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola next weekend in a bid to find performance and rejoin the fight with the other midfield teams.

Although Budkowski did not anticipate the hot-weather issue rearing its head again at the upcoming European races due to the springtime conditions, he hoped it would be resolved by the time the summer events come around.

“We have a bit of homework on understanding why we're seemingly less competitive in the hot sessions than in the evening sessions [in Bahrain],” Budkowski said.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a problem in Imola or Portugal, but could become a thing again in the summer months.”

shares
comments

Related video

Mercedes "potentially" has wind sensitivity issues like Williams
Previous article

Mercedes "potentially" has wind sensitivity issues like Williams

Next article

Albon: Reserve duties will play bigger role than DTM in F1 return

Albon: Reserve duties will play bigger role than DTM in F1 return
Load comments
The lessons F1 can take from the Masi "souk" deal criticisms Prime

The lessons F1 can take from the Masi "souk" deal criticisms

As Formula 1 heads to its Abu Dhabi season finale, the FIA and race director Michael Masi are under increased scrutiny, with radio messages broadcast during last weekend's race prompting discussion and controversy. But what can they learn from the Saudi Arabia debacle?

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Prime

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer Prime

Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer

OPINION: Saudi Arabia's new F1 circuit delivered a memorable first event, although not necessarily for all the right reasons. In the wake of the chaotic race, drivers voiced their concerns about the track but small changes could make significant improvements ahead of a return in four months.

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain Prime

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain

From ranking as one of the most impressive new teams to join the Formula 1 grid, Haas’s stock has plummeted along with its on-track performances over the past two seasons. Everything now hangs on whether its reforged alliance with Ferrari can deliver a better car – and whether its rookie drivers can set aside their quarrels. Oleg Karpov asks if any of these goals are achievable…

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2021
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021