Alpine will begin its upgrade cycle in earnest this week in Baku, with the introduction of a new floor for its A523, after which a steady flow of updates is expected to follow.
Alpine scored a modest haul of points in the first two races of the season, Bahrain and in Jeddah, but the team suffered a complete washout in Melbourne, with Pierre Gasly getting caught up in the racer’s second restart chaos and taking teammate Esteban Ocon with him into the wall.
The French outfit’s first concern after Australia was the impact on its development programme of the heavy damage suffered by both its cars in the incident which would lead to a heavy production schedule of spare parts.
"Clearly, we suffered some damage to both cars after the unfortunate incident in Australia at the last race,” he explained.
“We’ve had to manage the outcome of that carefully and we’ve all pulled together quickly and reacted extremely well over this spring break to recover the situation.
“I’m pleased to say there is no impact on our development plan and strategy, which is thanks to the relentless hard work at both factories. Both cars are well prepared and ready for Baku.”
Baku will likely see a flurry of updates from almost all teams. Harman provided a timeline for Alpine’s near term development cycle.
“We are bringing a new floor to Baku amongst some other aerodynamic and mechanical items,” he said.
“We then have a further development at the following race in Miami and something further for Imola after that.
“This consistent thread will continue throughout the season with more upgrades planned at most events.”
The Alpine tech boss described the new components as having a “reasonable” impact on the A523’s performance.
“In the short term, what we have for Baku, Miami and Imola is a reasonable step – though not as significant as some media speculation in recent weeks – and it’s important we keep this aggressive rate of development up if we are to keep moving forwards towards our performance expectations,” he added.
"Credit must be given to the work going on behind the scenes at both factories in Viry and Enstone in meeting development targets and finding the improvements to make the car faster.”