Alpine A524 set for first ‘weight reduction’ update in Japan


Alpine, desperate to turn their season around, will be bringing their first upgrades to their struggling A524 car at this week’s Japanese Grand Prix.

Productive development is critical for the Enstone squad which currently sits at the bottom of the constructors' championship with their car yet to score a single point.

Alpine’s upgrades will focus on two key areas: weight reduction and aerodynamic refinements. The A524 has been hampered by its excessive weight from the beginning, hindering both performance and handling.

So, shedding some pounds will be a big step towards making the car more competitive.

Team boss Bruno Famin acknowledges that the team’s upgrades are "not major," but they represent a crucial first step. The aim is to not to only improve performance but also to gain valuable data.

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“In line with our 2024 development plan, we are on schedule to make the first updates to the
A524,” he explained.

“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.

In Australia last time out, Alpine managed to make the Q2 cut for the first time this season, courtesy of Esteban Ocon who qualified P15, while Pierre Gasly concluded race day P13, three spots ahead of his teammate who was forced to make an extra pit stop.

“In Australia, we were able to fight closer to the points than in previous rounds,” added Famin.

“That said, that was likely down to circumstance and track specifics rather than an improvement in performance. And it is still a long way from our objective.

“We are motivated to put things right both at our factories and at the track in order to improve our processes and our car. We must fight tooth and nail to better our performance in all areas.”

Looking back on his race at Albert Park, Ocon reckoned that a top-ten finish was on the cards until a visor tear-off found its way into a rear brake duct.

“There were promising signs with the car showing better performance across the weekend as a whole and being closer to the teams around us,” said Ocon.

“[But] it felt like a bit of a missed opportunity as, without the extra pit stop to remove the tear-off from the rear brake duct, we could have been in the mix for points.

“I know the team at Enstone and Viry are working extremely hard to bring performance to the car and we’ll be trialling some small upgrades this weekend in Suzuka."

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