Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Silverstone, 2021

First pictures: Ocon gives new Alpine A521 its debut on track

2021 F1 season

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Esteban Ocon has driven Alpine’s new Formula 1 car its first run in a filming day at Silverstone.

The team’s running was briefly delayed by fog at the track, but Ocon was able to complete his maximum allocation of 100 kilometres.

Technical director Pat Fry said the car’s first run had gone according to plan.

“The shakedown today was, I think the best thing is to say, uneventful, which is always good to be honest,” said Fry. “We managed to fit the running in the dry, avoiding the fog of the morning and the rain that’s certainly come over us here at Enstone. No actual big problems as such.

“There’s always the odd silly little teething thing, but it all went fairly smoothly and we got through the programme. By the time we actually started running I think it was only about an hour to actually get through it all and do it all. So that part of it was all fairly straightforward.”

Ocon was the only one of the team’s race drivers to test as Fernando Alonso remains in Switzerland where he is recovering from the injuries he sustained in a cycling accident last month. The team has said Alonso will be fit enough to take part in pre-season testing when it begins in Bahrain next week.

“The car felt nice to drive for the first time and we managed to get through our programme as planned,” Ocon reported. “There was a bit of a delay this morning with the fog, but once that cleared, the track was dry and that made the running very enjoyable. I wish I could drive for more than 100km, but that’s the limit, and I leave here with a smile on my face.

“We want to take that into Bahrain next week when conditions will be more representative with the race tyres and some heat. All in all, it was a very interesting day and I can’t wait to discover more about the car. I have to say, I love the new colours. It’s the best-looking car on the grid.”

Pictures: 2021 Alpine A521 on track

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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  • 13 comments on “First pictures: Ocon gives new Alpine A521 its debut on track”

    1. The air box looks huge.

      1. Indeed! And it follows as some sort of hunchback engine cover.

      2. Because teams are missing a slit or in their words a chunk of the floor some decided to rearrange things up.

      3. I thought that on the launch photos but figured it must have been a weird angle. Nope – looks huge on track as well!

      4. Steve (@machinesteve)
        4th March 2021, 10:37

        They are going for the Ligier JS5 ‘Le Teapot’ retro look.

    2. This shade of blue is really nice, although I thought from yesterday’s renderings that they will use a metallic finish, not matte.

    3. Really another matte paint job!?

    4. Jockey Ewing
      3rd March 2021, 21:56

      At the studio or at renderings it usually seems more shiny, because under such circumstances more lights are often used.
      I don’t know whether really it qualifies as matte. It’s not very metallic for sure.
      Is not it something like anodized blue? Actually I find anodized things quite pretty.

    5. Doug Webster
      3rd March 2021, 22:26

      Ocon’s helmet re-paint is a nice improvment.

    6. I believe the paint is a satin finish, no? Sort of halfway between matte and gloss finishes.

    7. This looks beautiful. It makes me wonder if teams should present cars on track rather than on closed and artificial illuminated places…

    8. I think the car looks much better on track than it did in the reveal. The finish looks more satin than gloss and not full matte like Red Bull and others. I think the blue really pops in natural light.

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