Alpine “made a step” at Imola but haven’t shown true pace yet – Ocon

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In the round-up: Esteban Ocon says Alpine’s upgrades for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix were a clear improvement from their Bahrain car but not the endpoint of the team’s development.

In brief

Alpine’s place in the order still not settled after Imola updates

After the first race this season in Bahrain seemed to show them at a significant disadvantage, Alpine brought an upgrade package to the Emilia-Romagna grand prix. However Ocon said the team had the potential to perform better than they did.

“I think we have our spot in the top 10, that is clear today. Today hasn’t been a straightforward race like it has been the rest of the weekend. I think we had the potential to potentially be P7, P8, that the dry pace was was actually quite solid.

“We were quicker than the Sauber [Alfa Romeo] today. We are not where we want to be exactly, but we’ve made a step this weekend with the upgrades that we got and we felt good in the car driving it for myself and Fernando and, yeah, we want to score more points in the next race.”

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

Alpine junior Victor Martins fastest in first F3 test day

Formula 3 testing resumed at Barcelona yesterday, with two days of running at the venue where they will join F1 as the support series for the Spanish Grand Prix next month.

The morning session started wet, with the track empty for a lot of the first part of the session due to continuing rainfall. However once cars were able to get out on track they moved relatively quickly to slicks and the times tumbled. American Red Bull junior Jak Crawford, new to the category, was quickest.

Victor Martins was able to top the faster, drier afternoon session with another Red Bull Junior, Jack Doohan, who finished 26th in F3 last year, just behind him. Martins is a rookie in F3 this year, having won last year’s Formula Renault Eurocup title.

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Comment of the day

After the extended debate about whether this year’s regulations were unfairly affecting them, Adam says that Aston Martin risk quickly squandering goodwill with their reaction:

I wanted to like Aston Martin but they make it really hard to do so. This constant complaining about being hobbled by the regulations while having won with an illegal copy last year is really souring.

Obviously, they don’t have the money of Mercedes but that team’s managed to win a race with their low rake car so there’s clearly a solution to the problem that Aston Martin would know if they designed it. It just strikes me as sour grapes that their copied homework isn’t giving them instant success anymore.

Still not sure what the point of the team is other than bought prestige and an ego trip for Stroll. I get the feeling Red Bull would be happier to see AlphaTauri win a race than Mercedes would be if Aston Martin did.

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On this day in F1

  • 15 years ago today Gianmaria Bruni won the GP2 race at Imola, while Lewis Hamilton was disqualified while leading for a Safety Car infringement.

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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  • 36 comments on “Alpine “made a step” at Imola but haven’t shown true pace yet – Ocon”

    1. Anyone got an idea of what car Bottas was using to test the 18inch wheels?
      It’s obviously not this year’s car (not that his is in a drivable state at the moment), but is it last year’s car with modifications, 2 year old plus mods, or a purpose built test mule?
      Thank you

      1. I read that it was the W10 from the 2019 season.

        1. no no, I’m sure that is a 2020 racing point. That is not a 2 year old car, cheaters.

      2. @eurobrun I assume W10 featuring some modifications for the purpose.

    2. my emotions are also hard to describe…
      lots of bad things out there, like what is happening in Mozambique.
      Wrong or right don’t matter, the onus is on mediatism. It is the consumer’s fault, all about the product.

      1. what is this in reference to?

        1. @ryanoceros the floyd tweet, as if there was anything more important in the world than tweets and stupid american stuff.

          1. Oh got it thanks.
            Instagram doesn’t load on my browser because of privacy settings.

            I thought you were bummed out about the Indy 500 40% attendance cap.

    3. What on Earth is Hamilton’s completely non-F1-related instagram post doing here?

      1. I guess it relates because the subject of the post “inspired” people in F1 to kneel, wear special t-shirts, put rainbow stickers on their cars, lecture the fans, and make one team paint their cars black.

        1. I guess so. One person’s “inspiration” is another’s “peer pressure” or “public shaming.”

      2. Broccoliface
        22nd April 2021, 8:06

        Look at the author of today’s roundup

        1. Do you know who lewis hamilton is?

      3. Well, it is related to F1 in so far that 1. it is posted by Hamilton, who is the current world champion, is leading the championship and is its star driver, 2. it relates to the “no against racism” and “We drive as one” things F1 does as well.

        1. Except that it makes no mention of either of those.

          1. It doesn’t mention he is in F1 either, so well done for making that connection.

        2. @BasCB,
          The problem (I have with this IG post being included) here is that Chauvin was not convicted of racism, and that’s what we all fight against.
          The only result of putting these IG posts here is to see both comment camps digging themselves in even deeper.
          There are many examples of racism also in the UK (e.g today’s news) which could be raised by our stars in the sport.
          They might not be as popular, but I’d rather see those in the round-up.

          1. But it has been raised today. Its Stephen Lawrence Day and Hamilton is part of the Stephen Lawrence video that has just been released. And he is also a supporter of the linked Foundation that raises funds to helps children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

      4. The current World Champion – a seven time Champion – has tweeted about something that is genuinely important. An event that will be talked about for generations and which, hopefully, precipitates a much needed change for the better.

        As the only black driver on the grid it’s perfectly understandable that Lewis has chosen to comment. He’s at a point in his career, and of an age, where he clearly wants to achieve more in life than just success on track. That point comes to many people: a realisation that professional success doesn’t necessarily make you feel good inside and that you can do more to improve the world and in-turn experience a real sense of fulfilment.

        What’s remarkable about Lewis is that this strength of resolve and focus is not detracting from his performance on track. If anything it seems to be making him stronger and more resilient.

        Racism is absolutely everywhere. It’s less obvious than it was before but if you scratch the surface it’s still there. Why anybody would want to discourage a person of colour from using their platform to raise awareness of this is beyond me.

        In 1968 Tommie Smith and John Carlos each raised a gloved fist at the Mexico Olympics. 50 years later scenarios like the George Floyd one show that the world still has a lot of progress to make.

        Good on you, Lewis.

      5. To keep the posts and debate ticking over at a goodly rate, as most know that any mention of Hamilton will bring out a whole host of posters who are willing to offer an opinion no matter what the subject.
        For example Hamilton doing a fashion shoot for IWC watches bought forth around 65-85 comments. His restaurant over a 100 I believe. That’s good business.
        And obviously proves there’s an audience for non related motorsport issues. As shown by the inclusion of non F1 related issues involving other F1 personalities, and the ever popular Paddock Diary by Rencken and similar diaries by others within F1 which contain a fair amount of non F1 related content.

      6. Virtue signaling

        1. @balue Run Forrest, run.

    4. I think Ocon it’s kidding to say there’s much more in that Renault. I think they’d be silly not to have resources fully devoted to next years challenger at this point. If not for Vettel’s utter lack of pace, and some bad fortune from other drivers, they’d be lucky to score any points at all.

    5. The Times: I can’t read the entire article, but I doubt Mercedes would resort to Red Bull-style measures. If a change happens, it’d more likely occur for next season than during this campaign.

    6. I must say that i find it somewhat baffling to see how media (and many fans) are willing to completely write off Bottas support for Hamilton in the championship after 1 race where things went from lacklustre to disappointing to a wrecked car. Remember, in Bahrain Bottas was on the podium, nicely supporting Hamilton. And him being there also helped keep Verstappen to the strategy choises that led to Hamilton being able to get ahead and keep ahead.

      1. I am must agree with your comment. It almost looks like they are lobbying to replace him mid season.
        Also during the race i was listening while i could hear what they thought (about George crash) they were very carefull on commenting on George.

        Bottas and the wet is and was never his strongest point as he had little experience in his carting while Lewis, Max and Vettel had a lot of experience driving in the wet. He is always strong on fast circuits in warmer temperatures.

        1. Obviously the media has seen how much Ham loves George Floyd so they have decided Ham’s next teammate is going to be George Russell.

          1. Utterly pathetic

          2. @peartree I really can’t understand this comment, even in any satirical sense. There is no connection between these two things.

            1. @keithedin it is a satire on modern journalism.

            2. @peartree It doesn’t make sense though since none of the media has made any connection between those two things. Only you have, which is weird because you seem upset that Lewis’ tweet was included in the roundup so it’s strange that you’d bring it up again in response to an unrelated comment.

            3. @keithedin not my fault you didn’t get the joke at first.

      2. Based on his current form, he couldn’t overtake a rusty Caterham.

      3. @bascb Yes completely unwarranted, but that’s British media for you

    7. Hahah, didnt notice Ocon and Alonso were also racing.. what a farce of a team

    8. Re Alpine: You’ll be back soon…but I miss Renault Yellow.

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