Otmar Szafnauer, Alpine, Silverstone, 2023

Second supplier part failure ‘a frustrating issue we must solve’ – Alpine

2023 British Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has provided more insight about Esteban Ocon‘s race-ending hydraulics issue at the British Grand Prix.

Ocon had to retire his car after just nine laps due to overheating. He said after the race his A523 would have caught fire had he continued.

“Esteban had a hydraulic leak from a proprietary pump that we buy from our supplier,” Szafnauer explained. “And it’s just unfortunate.

“It’s a part we buy, and it’s a part that’s usually pretty robust and rarely fails. And it leaked. It leaked from an area of the pump where I think we adjust pressure on it.”

Szafnauer called it a “frustrating issue which we must resolve” as it is “the second time” the hydraulics has failed on an Alpine car this season. Ocon’s team mate Pierre Gasly had a fire-inducing hydraulic leak at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

He said the team has procedures in place to ensure parts it does not manufacturer are produced to the standard it requires.

“On suppliers, we have a quality assurance program where we go out and review their quality processes and procedures so that we’re happy that when we get a part from them, that’s gone through the right [process].

“But that’s generally with suppliers where we supply them a design and they make a part to our design. So we have that process in place, so we can be assured that when we choose a supplier they have all the quality operating systems in place.

“With big companies that are even better at that kind of stuff, we don’t. So if we buy wheels or if we buy ATL fuel cells or some of those components, this is one of them. They will go back, find the root cause, write a report, show us what happened, and tell us how it’s never going to happen again.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2023 British Grand Prix

Browse all 2023 British Grand Prix articles

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

9 comments on “Second supplier part failure ‘a frustrating issue we must solve’ – Alpine”

    1. Coventry Climax
      14th July 2023, 9:48

      I’m no fan of this team or this man, but they are leading the second half of the constructors, so it’s not all pain – thusfar.

      Nice he explains their quality assurance program, but clearly it’s pointless to have things made to your specs and then change the conditions under which you operate those parts.

      1. change the conditions under which you operate those parts

        Hmmm. He says:

        It leaked from an area of the pump where I think we adjust pressure on it.”

        Over tightened? cross threaded?
        Having quickly pointed to a 3rd party component as the cause, I’m sure he will quickly pass on the general content of the report from the 3rd party about the root cause of the failure.

        1. Coventry Climax
          14th July 2023, 17:15

          I read that as that they put another value of pressure on it than the part was designed for.

          1. I read it as that part is designed to be user adjustable.

          2. Coventry Climax
            15th July 2023, 13:31

            If anything, this proves that using correct and non-multi-interpretable language is important.

    2. Incredible team. I mean we talk a lot about Ferarri but the truth is they are always up there near the top, despite their challenges. Alpine however is also a manufacturer team. One of only four. If there is a team that should be looked at with a lot of criticism it is this one. I personally find the team should quit F1 and sell to an interested party (of which there are quite some at the moment). They have proven for years to be absolutely going nowhere and from viewers perspective I would rather see those two grid positions been taken by a team that has potential.

  1. F1 Hydraulic pump, for those who’re interested:


    Note this type of pump is not F1 specific and is used a lot throughout many industries. However the size, materials used and super fine tolerances are unique to Motorsport and other extreme-use cases.

  2. Hydraulic leak, likely it’s either pressure tolerance exceeded, rubber o-ring quality or manufacturing/assembly fault. Root cause will be interesting if it’s ever released.

Comments are closed.