The Alpine Formula 1 team could be set to make a sizeable step forward in the coming races, with the squad reportedly expecting to improve its pace by six-tenths of a second with upgrades.
That’s according to Auto Motor und Sport, who says the new parts will be rolled out across the next handful of races.
Alpine showed strong development pace in 2022 that saw it emerge fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, beating McLaren following a season-long battle.
The team has long been vocal about its desire to compete at the front of the F1 field, but its gains have not yet been enough to trouble those contesting for race wins.
However, Aston Martin’s leap from seventh in last year’s standings to a trio of podiums in the first three races of 2023 displays that such improvements can be made.
Alpine currently sits sixth in the standings, but missed out on a sizeable portion of points at the Australian Grand Prix earlier this month when team-mates Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon collided at a late-race restart.
Gasly showed impressive speed throughout the grand prix and was on course for a top five finish before retiring.
And the car could be set to get even faster in the weeks ahead, with the first of the upgrades reported to be fitted to the car at the upcoming races from Baku and Imola.
That particular upgrade is set to see the team improve its pace by three-tenths of a second, before more are fitted for the rounds at Silverstone and Montreal.
Overall, it is anctipacpting a six-tenths of a second gain, which would significantly boost it towards its competitors at the front of the field.
However, a caveat is that the late Melbourne crash between the team-mates could complicate the planned upgrades.
The incident resulted in a hefty repair bill and with teams limited on budget amid a cost cap, such incidents may cause the team to change focus from producing upgrades to constructing spare parts.
“It’s not yet a problem for the cost cap, even though the accident cost us dearly,” said Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer.
“But the accident has shifted the priorities. For now, we need spare parts for Baku.
“You don’t just rebuild things like a front wing in a fortnight. We still have to check whether that has an influence on whether we can bring our development package to its full extent.”