Famin: Alpine seeking 'progress over results' in opening races

© XPB 

Alpine team principal Bruno Famin acknowledged the current limitations of the team’s A524 car based on pre-season testing in Bahrain, but insists the Enstone squad is looking beyond the initial races as it prioritizes long-term development over immediate results.

The performance of Alpine’s 2024 contender in pre-season testing in Bahrain painted a concerning picture.

The car – heavily revamped compared to last season’s A523 – consistently finished last in the overall times, did not complete a full race simulation and long runs, which mimic race conditions, saw the A524 lagging behind its rivals, confirming its performance deficit.

Adding to the team's woes, reports claim the A524 is overweight, which might explain the car’s pared-back livery, where paint has been removed to shed weight.

As Pierre Gasly acknowledged after last week’s test, things “aren’t looking great” for Alpine, which now faces an uphill battle and will need to address its issues swiftly to become a contender in F1’s midfield.

Considering this challenging reality, Famin emphasizes that the team's success will be measured by progress, not early results.

“Our objective this year will be to generate the dynamic in improving the car, and improving the team as well,” he said. “That is the team as a whole and not only trackside.

“It is much more than giving a target in terms of final result or position in the championship or podiums. What I really need to see is this dynamic.

“The car is what it is right now. The important thing is to be able to develop it together with the team, with the factories at Viry and Enstone, and trackside. Everybody pushing for improvement.”

Aerodynamic development and weight reduction are the two main areas where Alpine intends to focus its efforts. But Famin is currently unsure how much the team can gain by improving either deficiency.

“We don't know yet exactly. Let's analyse it better,” he explained.

“But weight is always a factor. When you are overweight, you need to be underweight. When you are underweight, you have to manage the ballast in the right place.

“And even when you are underweight, you still have to gain weight to improve the weight distribution. So, weight reduction is always a challenge.”

While Alpine undoubtedly has its work cut out for it in the coming months, this weekend's opening round of racing in Bahrain will reveal the full extent of the work that lies ahead to ensure its car’s competitiveness this season.

“There is a lot to learn for sure,” he said. “The car is new from front to back: the chassis is different, the suspension is different, the aero is different.

“We wanted to try to improve the weak point of the previous car. Let's wait for next week to see if we're on target on it.”

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