Monday, March 4, 2024

Otmar Szafnauer Confident Alpine can Compete with Mercedes During 2023 Campaign

Otmar Szafnauer believes his BWT Alpine F1 Team can take the fight to the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team during the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season despite a below-par opening to the year.

Esteban Ocon has scored points in only one of the first three races thanks to an eighth place in Saudi Arabia, while Pierre Gasly scored ninth place results in both of the opening two events.  The team were on for a good score in Australia only for their race to unravel spectacularly as the two drivers collided at the exit of turn two as part of the chaotic lap fifty-seven restart at Albert Park.

Mercedes on the other hand secured their first podium finish of 2023 in Australia with Lewis Hamilton coming home second, and between the seven-time World Champion and team-mate George Russell, they have fifty-six points to their name compared to just eight at Alpine.

However, Szafnauer, the Team Principal at the Enstone-based squad, has high hopes for the 2023 season, and with major updates coming to the car for both the Azerbaijan and Miami Grand Prix weekends, the team are looking at beating the likes of Mercedes this season.

“We think we can fight with them,” Szafnauer is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “We too have a decent-size upgrade coming for Baku and then a little bit more only a week later in Miami, so we continue to push the upgrades out.

“We had good correlation last year and if that continues and if we continue to push the upgrades, we’ll take that development fight over the season to the others around us.  Last year our development rate was pretty good and if we can keep up the same this year, I think we should over the year get closer.

“It’s a relative game. I know what we’ve got coming. What I don’t know is what [Mercedes] has coming.”

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