Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Monza, 2023

Alpine’s Monza woes weren’t down to power unit deficit – Ocon

RaceFans Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Esteban Ocon is confident that Alpine’s poor weekend in Monza was no due to their power unit’s performance

In brief

Alpine’s Monza woes not down to power unit deficit – Ocon

Earlier this year Alpine sought a dispensation from the FIA to equalise a perceived performance deficit between its Renault power unit and rivals Mercedes, Ferrari and Honda RBPT. However the request was turned down.

Asked if Alpine’s poor performance at Monza, a track which places a premium on engine performance, was down to its power unit, Ocon said “no, it’s not as simple as that.”

“It’s never one thing in Formula 1,” he explained. “It’s obviously not our strongest area either. But we were struggling quite a lot in corners as well, not being happy with either the balance of the car or how how it felt.

“The good thing, in a way, from that weekend, is how much we’ve learned. And the other good thing is how we got the maximum out of the car in qualifying. [Unfortunately] we were not quick enough, but both cars were within three-thousandths which really shows how much we are pushing with the set-up, the directions and how close we were for both cars.”

Hamilton unaware of approach from Massa’s lawyers

Lewis Hamilton says he is unaware of any effort by Felipe Massa’s legal representatives to contact him over their action against the FIA and F1.

Massa has commenced the early stages of legal action against F1 and the FIA over claims the heads of both organisations were aware of the ‘Crashgate’ scandal before it was made public after losing the 2008 title to Hamilton. Massa’s lawyers said they urged Hamilton to support their actions.

“I don’t believe anyone’s been in touch with me,” Hamilton told media including RaceFans.

“My thoughts haven’t changed from the last time the question was asked. I’m really not focussed on what happened 15 years ago or two years ago, I’m focussed on right now and how to help my team build towards winning another world championship.”

Armstrong runs first oval test

Chip Ganassi driver Marcus Armstrong had his first run at an oval during a private test at the Texas Motor Speedway.

The 2023 Rookie of the Year ran all road and street circuits rounds but not the oval races in this season’s championship but will compete in all rounds from 2024.

“It was an awesome experience, and I really enjoyed it,” Armstrong said. “The proper first run in the morning was great. I was just smiling after that first run and even on the in-lap I had a different reaction to what I was expecting. It was a lot more natural than I anticipated, and I felt at one with the car later in the day. I found that it was a lot easier to trust the car and the banking.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Comment of the day

Sauber’s decision to stick with Zhou Guanyu for 2024 rather than promote current F2 championship leader Theo Pourchaire has surprised GeeMac

Interesting decision, not because I don’t think Zhou is a good Grand Prix driver, but more because I had assumed Sauber would want to give Pourchaire an opportunity before the team becomes Audi and they (presumably) lose control over these sorts of decisions to the powers that be in Ingolstadt.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Siy, Butch27, Warfieldf1 and Sudhi!

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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

9 comments on “Alpine’s Monza woes weren’t down to power unit deficit – Ocon”

  1. Rumour going around that the FIA have informed Andretti Autosport that there entry meets all of there requirements and that they are happy to allow there entry & will recommend Liberty accept it.

    Liberty however plan to reject it… However to avoid a potential legal challenge (Which the FIA accepting there entry would open the possibility of) the talk is that they will instead allow Andretti a grid spot but refuse to include them in the concorde agreement thus excluding them from all of the commercial arrangements. Under that scenario they would have to pay for there own travel, accommodation, paddock space, pit garages, tire supply & not be guaranteed TV time or be part of any official media activities as well as not been eligible for any prize money payouts.

    1. @gt-racer
      Since all these are rumours, this may not be true. Please get back once you have any credible information.

      1. Hey, when GT Racer speaks, I listen, as they’ve frequently provided this site invaluable knowledge not available elsewhere.

        I think the anti-dilution fee is relatively inflexible for team entries in 2024 and 2025, but could potentially be increased for 2026. So I think a key strategy Liberty is employing is to delay their entry as much as possible so that it’s impossible for Andretti to be ready for a 2025 entry. To be honest, it may already be too late for that, so I think the plan has worked. And if they can keep this rumoured arrangement proposal behind closed doors just long enough to make a 2025 entry 100% impractical, they can avoid a lot of very bad publicity. So hopefully the emergence of these rumours can encourage a bit more investigative journalism to point the spotlight at this anti-competition drive by the sport’s owners.

    2. they will instead allow Andretti a grid spot but refuse to include them in the concorde agreement thus excluding them from all of the commercial arrangements.

      Those are rumours indeed. Problem is that FOM will have some legal difficulties executing such a plan; especially in Europe.

      1. notagrumpyfan, given that the European Commission enforced a requirement for the commercial and regulatory sides of Formula 1 to be legally distinct entities, there is an argument that such an arrangement is legal.

        The FIA itself has previously acknowledged that the commercial rights holder is entitled to independently evaluate the bids submitted by entrants, as it is an independent legal entity, and thus not required to agree with the FIA’s own position. Due to that requirement for independence, the FIA cannot grant any financial rights to a potential new entrant, as under the terms of the covenant they signed with the European Commission, the FIA is only permitted to act as a regulatory body (i.e. it can set the technical and sporting regulations that are used, but commercial arrangements are the exclusive preserve of the commercial rights holder).

        Because there does not appear to be anything which says that a team has an automatic right to a contract with the commercial rights holder, nor a requirement for a team participating in Formula 1 to have a contract with the commercial rights holder, it does seem plausible that Liberty Media has the right to say that it does not want to sign a contract with Andretti, even if the FIA has given Andretti rights to participate in the championship.

        There may be a form of legal precedent for that scenario, which is what happened when the 6th iteration of the Concorde Agreement expired. That contract expired on the 31st December 2012, which meant there was no commercial agreement in place when the 2013 season began between either the teams and the commercial rights holder, nor was there a commercial agreement between the FIA and the commercial rights holder.

        As it was, it wasn’t until July that the majority of the teams finally signed agreements with the commercial rights holders, although Marussia didn’t sign a deal until October 2013, by which point the season was nearly over. The FIA itself, for it’s part, didn’t sign it’s own agreement with the commercial rights holder until September 2013.

        There was no action by the European Commission during that period, or by any other regulatory body for that matter, even though it meant that the teams were competing in the championship without a commercial agreement in place for an extended period of time and no guarantee that the teams would agree to the terms offered by them.

    3. For a marketing corporation, Liberty sure would be shooting themselves in both feet by rejecting such an American F1 team and one of the most respected motorsports brands globally from F1’s commercial aspects at such a time.
      Would go down about as well as Indy 2005, I’d reckon.

      And just for the sake of clarity, a reminder that Liberty have no control over which or how many cars are on the grid. That’s entirely the FIA’s responsibility. Liberty can not accept or reject this, even if they want to.

      No doubt the teams are all rushing to have the $200m anti-competition fee increased before anything official goes public about Andretti’s entry.

      Bring on the legal proceedings. Should be substantially more interesting than the fight for the championship for the next couple of years.
      Putting the existing teams – the big ones especially – back in their box a bit is long overdue.

  2. Re Jalopnik article: Just let that matter go.

    Nice helmet designs.

    Re COTD: True that Audi’s eventual arrival could impact Pouchaire’s chance negatively because they mightn’t necessarily want him but instead other drivers.
    However, concerning next season specifically, not only hasn’t Zhou given a strong justification for sacking by his performance level, but the fact Pourchaire (despite leading the championship with a single round left) hasn’t dominated the series in his fourth campaign but somewhat struggled in the battle against Vesti before eventually taking the lead has perhaps also played a part in not promoting him to a full-time driver.

    1. I forgot that I finally found out what Seb’s planned Japanese GP attendance is about.
      When I got a hint elsewhere yesterday, I thought why Suzuka specifically given its faraway distance to Switzerland rather than a European location.
      I assume he just wanted to choose that location as a one-off thing because Suzuka.

  3. Alpine are certainly an interesting one. They were rapid on the straights last year. And right now somehow they’ve messed that balance up quite badly.

    It seems that the biggest challenge with these regulations is to produce a car with a large operating window. Only RB have that sorted so far.

    Also it is generally a bit disappointing that others aren’t catching up to Red Bull. In 2018, RB had already built a very good chassis after 2017 (But Renault) and only the FW rule changes in the name of simplification set them back for 2019 up until the second part of the year (where Honda was behind Merc/Ferrari in terms of power). 2020 is the only year where one can say Honda was not the bigger limitation but the chassis itself and in 2021 RB got that sorted as well.

    Some may say it’s the cost-cap but I don’t fundamentally believe that’s what’s keeping teams from improving. I think it is generally the decision to pursue failed concepts that has led to the poor trajectory of Ferrari/Merc and in Ferrari’s case it was all good before that TD and more reason to pursue their direction. In Merc’s case, I don’t know how they thought that the Brazil win was an indication of any sort given that RB was massively off pace sitting comfortably as the 3rd quickest car. Seeing McLaren be as competitive as Merc is more telling of the current state of F1’s top teams who seem to somehow miss something fundamental that teams with far fewer resources like McLaren have figured out.

    In many ways the RB is the perfect amalgamation of Ferrari and McLaren. Great in the straights and quick through the corners, with significantly better tire management. The perfect all round car.

Comments are closed.