Alpine were “over-optimistic” about car’s performance after Japanese GP – Alonso

2022 United States Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso believes Alpine’s strong weekend at Suzuka made them too optimistic about their car’s performance, following a disappointing qualifying session for the team yesterday.

Although Alonso reached the final round of qualifying, he was only quick enough for ninth place and will start 14th after a penalty. That still leaves him three places ahead of team mate Esteban Ocon, who will line up 17th having failed to progress beyond the first round of qualifying.

The result is a disappointment for the team two weeks after Ocon qualified fifth at Suzuka, two places ahead of Alonso, and went on to score their best result of the season so far with fourth place. But Alonso doesn’t believe the car’s performance has changed drastically between the two races. “Japan was P7 or something like that, and here is P9, so it’s not much of a difference,” he told media including RaceFans after qualifying on Saturday.

“I think the team was over-optimistic in Japan. Esteban said that it was the best car ever and today the worst car ever. But I think it’s not that different, even though I think we’ve had more difficulties today, for sure, we found out in FP3.”

Alpine has brought a single example of a revised floor for this weekend’s race, which is only being run on Ocon’s car. “We need to understand the new floor that Esteban has in this weekend, if it’s performing,” said Alonso. “Because it’s a little bit strange to see one Alpine going out of Q1, so we need to make sure that we are in the right direction.”

Alonso suspects the team’s A522 simply performs better at circuits like Suzuka. “I think in Japan the car was fast, it was good. But it was good also in Silverstone, it was good in Spa. So I think there are certain tracks with high efficiency that the car was very strong all year long.

“So I don’t think that it was just related to the floor, it’s just a characteristic. The car felt good today as well but obviously not good enough.”

Ocon was puzzled by his failure to progress beyond the first round of qualifying. “It’s difficult to explain really what is the cause at the moment,” he said.

“[I] didn’t feel comfortable or at ease or together with the car since the beginning of the weekend. The only time where we felt more normal was FP2. From looking at that we lacked a lot of pace in the session and that was all there was in Q1.”

However he said the car’s performance at the last race gives him confidence they can solve the problems they encountered this weekend. “We had a car that performed well in Suzuka so we will find it and touch the issues,” said Ocon.

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2022 United States Grand Prix

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Author information

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...
RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

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4 comments on “Alpine were “over-optimistic” about car’s performance after Japanese GP – Alonso”

  1. Judging by rear wings, cota is a max downforce track. Maybe that is their problem.

  2. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    23rd October 2022, 14:15

    New floor: knocked out in Q1
    Old floor: into Q3

    Not exactly what they hoped for I imagine.

  3. Alonso, kicking the team on his way out? Surely not 🤣

  4. Q1
    ALO 1’36.446
    NOR 1’37.088

    ALO 1’36.219
    ALO 1’35.988
    NOR 1’37.088
    NOR 1’36.465

    ALO 1’36.167
    ALO 1’35.876
    NOR 1’36.566
    NOR 1.35.690

    How come Norris found almost 1 second in his last attempt, was he unable to unlock that in the previous attempts?
    Impressive consistency from Alonso though, able to directly find more performance but the McLaren looked ultimately the quicker of the two.

Comments are closed.