Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer announced that Esteban Ocon will race on the new floor in Miami alongside Fernando Alonso.
Last time out at Imola, Alonso was testing the new modified floor, but his time on the circuit was cut short when his sidepod fractured after a hit from Mick Schumacher at the start.
Alpine will return for more data collection at the first Miami Grand Prix, which will feature both Ocon and Alonso. However, Szafnauer confirmed that the upgrade was working based on the data gathered in Imola.
“The upgrades we brought to the A522 worked as expected in Imola, which is a great sign that the hard work behind the scenes at the factory is paying off, especially in developing and validating these aerodynamic updates,” confirmed Szafnauer in Alpine’s preview of the event.
“As a result of those efforts, the new spec floor we had on Fernando’s car will be on both cars this weekend.”
“Although Fernando’s floor suffered significant damage in the race because of the first lap incident with Mick [Schumacher], we were able to recover the part and make the necessary repairs.”
“It’s great that both cars have the upgrade, which performed to expectations.”
“There’s more to come in the coming races in this very important and intense development race.”
Alpine has had no trouble in qualifying, and Alonso appeared to be a pole contender in Australia before crashing out due to a hydraulic issue.
Race pace, on the other hand, has yet to equal Alpine’s one-lap performance, something Szafnauer says the team is working on to improve without suffering a significant hit in qualifying.
“As we’ve seen at the first four races, our low fuel, qualifying pace looks very competitive,” said Szafnauer. “That said, points are scored on Sundays, so while we qualify well, we need to capitalise on these promising starting positions.
“The team has been working hard to identify these areas and work through different set-up changes to help improve our race pace while also managing our tyres a bit differently.”
“It’s a fine balance between improving race pace without impacting our qualifying speed.”
Imola was Ocon’s first race of 2022 in which he did not earn a point, despite finishing no worse than P7 in the first three rounds. As a result, the Frenchman, as well as the entire Alpine squad, is determined to bounce back on new ground in Miami.
“Imola was a frustrating weekend for the team,” he admitted. “It is clear that there are areas we must improve on. The first three races were good for me and not being in the points in Italy will serve as further motivation for everyone to bounce back in Miami.”
“The whole team is looking forward to it and we know if we do things right, we will be able to extract the potential we know this car has, and deliver the results we are capable of.
“We’ll be bringing a few upgrades to the car which hopefully work in our favour and can address the lack of pace I had in Italy. I’m sure Fernando will be fast again so we hope to be in a position to be competitive in the midfield and leave Florida with a haul of points.”