Alpine has outlined that it is investigating why its race pace has not been consistent with its qualifying performance across the opening rounds of the 2021 Formula 1 season.
The French team has displayed strong one-lap pace at times this year, with Esteban Ocon qualifying fifth and sixth in Spain and Portugal respectively.
However, it currently sits seventh in the Constructors’ Championship, having scored a best result of seventh in the opening five races, before Fernando Alonso took sixth last time out in Baku amid a late-race restart.
Despite the strong Azerbaijan result, Alpine has noticed a pace deficit from Saturday to Sunday in the first grands prix of the year, and it is currently seeking a solution to the matter.
“We have work to do to understand our race pace deficit and it’s something we’re actively investigating,” said the team’s Executive Director Marcin Budkowski.
“It’s clear the car is capable of good performances in qualifying, but on some circuits, we can’t seem to replicate that good pace in race conditions, and that’s something we need to get on top of to score bigger points in the Championship.
“We hope that our findings so far will help us achieving a good result in France, on a full-time circuit more typical of what we normally see in Formula 1.”
With this weekend’s race in France marking Alpine’s home event, Ocon says the team is keen to walk away from it with a strong result in hand.
“It feels like so long ago since I lined up for my home grand prix in France, so I’m very much ready and looking forward to doing that once again this weekend,” Ocon said.
“Obviously, I wasn’t racing in 2019 and, last year, there wasn’t a French Grand Prix, so I definitely have extra motivation and energy coming into this race.
“I think everyone in the team is desperate for a good race on home soil, and we’ll be working hard to do just that.”