Alpine's test hindered by 'usual teething problems'

Pierre Gasly (FRA), Alpine F1 Team 24.02.2023. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day Two.
© XPB 

Alpine F1 admitted that it had been hampered by some minor interruptions on the second day of pre-season testing at Bahrain International Circuit on Friday, but insisted that overall it had still been a productive day for the French squad.

Esteban Ocon was in the hot seat in thew morning and was only able to complete 49 laps before the break, when he jumped out and left the team's new recruit Pierre Gasly in charge for the afternoon and evening, adding 59 laps to the overall tally.

“It’s been another productive day of testing for the team today with Esteban in the car in the morning and Pierre in the afternoon," Alpine's chief technical officer Pat Fry said after the end of the day's track activity.

"With only three days of testing, we always aim to be ambitious by fitting in a busy programme packed with many different test items and ... set-up changes.

"While we managed to complete over 100 laps today, the usual teething problems that do occur at pre-season testing did pop up throughout the day, and that certainly held us back from completing more mileage.

"Nevertheless, we’ve gathered plenty of useful data to work through to help us continue our learning process of our 2023 package," he said.

"It was good to have a smooth evening run under representative conditions with an eye on preparing for next weekend’s first race of the season.”

Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team A523.
24.02.2023. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day Two.

Alpine finished last season in fourth place in the constructors championship, but are having a somewhat slow start to their 2023 preparations.

Gasly and Ocon were only 17th and 18th quickest on Thursday, and today moved up to P10 and P12 on a day where Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu was a surprise presence at the top of the timesheets.

But their main rivals McLaren are also having problems of their own, with Oscar Piastri ninth quickest today and Lando Norris down in 16th after suffering further reliability problems.

On the evidence so far it's Aston Martin who look to be leading the mid-field teams. Fresh from his move from Alpine, Fernando Alonso was second quickest on Thursday and remained third in today's latest rankings.

Alpine hopes to close off the three-day test and a busy programme on Saturday with Gasly returning to the A523 in the morning, and Ocon finishes the test in the afternoon.

After that it's just a week before the first race weekend of the 2023 season, with the Bahrain GP taking place on Sunday March 5.

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