Pierre Gasly not sure when Alpine will make progress amid upgrades

Pierre Gasly not sure when Alpine will make progress amid upgrades

Pierre Gasly is unable to provide a precise time frame on when Alpine will be able to battle in the midfield even though the team will be bringing a few upgrades to the Japanese Grand Prix.

Alpine’s 2024 F1 campaign hasn’t started off perfectly as Gasly had hoped. The situation has gotten worse compared to when it initially started to appear in the preseason and after three races, they are yet to score a point and have only appeared in Q2 only once.

How soon Alpine can recover from its challenging start to the 2024 F1 campaign is currently the biggest question. The team had to act quickly at the beginning of the 2024 season to attempt and close the deficit after development of the A524 fell short of expectations.

Additionally, there have been several resignations from the F1 team through the downturn, which could have slowed things considerably. The car needs to be improved and updated in order to make it out of this predicament but Gasly does not have a predetermined number of races in which the team will introduce new parts.

“I can’t give you a number, they’re going to be small steps at a time,” said Gasly. “When exactly we will be in a position to be fighting where we need to fight? This is still… I can’t give you the answer.”

When asked if he was pleased that some steps were being taken regarding new parts for the Japanese Grand Prix, Gasly responded that each team is making strides to improve their cars. Therefore, bringing an update that will enable them make progress faster is a bigger responsibility for Alpine.

“I heard a lot of people are coming with new parts in Suzuka,” said Gasly. “I think it’s good to get already this going, on our car and see the effect it has.

“It’s going to be a step, from where we are. At the minute, we need every single increase of performance we can. So that’s positive. I know there’ll be more coming later.

“But I think mainly at the moment is trying to figure out like bigger picture whether we stick to this car concept which we have or try to start from, something a bit more out of the box.

“We know exactly compared to last year what’s worse and what’s similar. So I think it’s mainly about doing these steps and see how it put us I think we’re not looking at the two-three weeks plan, but more like a four to six months plan and trying to come up with a package that is stronger for the end of the year.”

There may be hope as the F1 paddock heads to Japan for the Japanese Grand Prix. The squad is coming off its best performance in the 2024 campaign so far although that could be interpreted as relative.

Both Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon advanced to Q2 at the Australian Grand Prix despite starting from the rear of the pack in both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

“Now is the time to work through the data and concentrate on optimising the package we have in our hands ahead of next week’s first Grand Prix,” said Team Principal Bruno Famin in Alpine’s post-testing media report.

“We know where we stand. We are expecting a challenging start to the year as we continue to learn more and more about our A524 to develop it across the season.”

However, Famin cautions that progress may still come at a slow pace. Among the planned upgrades, the first step is weight reduction according to the team boss.

“We are looking forward to racing at the fast and flowing Suzuka Circuit,” said Famin in the team’s media preview of the Japanese Grand Prix. “In line with our 2024 development plan, we are on schedule to make the first updates to the A524.

“Although they are not major, it is important for us to add these elements as soon as we can so we can assess the potential and continually improve our understanding of our package.

“These updates mainly concern a new front wing as well as the first step of weight reduction.”

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