Alpine confirms 'focus has switched entirely to 2022'

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team A521 leaves the pits. 02.07.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg
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The Alpine F1 team is the latest squad to confirm that it has switched all its research and development resources to the 2022 season, meaning there will be few if any upgrades coming along for the remainder of the current campaign.

"Itโ€™s been a big push from the start of the season with both Enstone and Viry working hard to develop the car," said the team's executive director Marcin Budkowski this week.

"The focus has now switched entirely to 2022 at both factories, meaning there are fewer new parts coming to the track."

The decision comes ahead of this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, the last race before Formula 1's traditional 'summer shutdown' in August.

"The second half of the calendar is a gruelling schedule and everyone in the team looks forward to the two-week break to recharge," commented Budkowski.

"But, before we can relax, we are aiming for another strong showing and a double points finish in Hungary.

"On a personal level I always enjoy the trip to Budapest," he continued. "Itโ€™s a beautiful city and one of my favourite destinations of the season - and I think most of the team will agree with me.

"The Hungaroring is a tight and twisty track and notoriously difficult to overtake on, that means qualifying will be important.

Marcin Budkowski (POL) Alpine F1 Team Executive Director. 03.07.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg

"We will need to realise the potential of the car on Saturday to put ourselves in a place where we can fight for the higher points-scoring positions in the race."

The weekend will also see the team celebrating Fernando Alonso turning 40, with Budkowski confident that the two-time world champion's recent performances have put to rest any talk that he's too old.

"I think Fernando has now silenced for good whoever doubted his return would be a success. His speed is still there, and his race-craft is second to none," he said. "He will no doubt continue pushing himself and the team as the season goes on."

Alonso was seventh in the most recent race, with his team mate Esteban Ocon also in the points in the British GP after disappointing outings in Austria.

"It was great to see Esteban in good form and a solid weekend allowed him to return to the points. He can now build on this good performance and retrieve his superb early season form."

Even so, Budkowski admitted that he couldn't be happy with the team's current seventh place in the constructors standings.

"While itโ€™s good we scored double points in Silverstone โ€“ and very important points for the championship - our ambitions remain higher than finishing seventh and ninth."

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