In the round-up: Alfa Romeo are hoping their recent car upgrade has solved the problems they encountered with tyre warm-up as the team faces growing pressure in the constructors championship.
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Tyre warm-up questions remain for Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo are one place from the bottom of the constructors’ standings having dropped two positions in the past eight rounds. With AlphaTauri bringing an upgrade for their car recently and Haas planning a major revision for their VF-23 at the United States Grand Prix, Alfa Romeo are facing increasingly tough competition to avoid ending the season in last place.
While the team which finished sixth in the standings last year has brought a step for its C43 recently, following the warm temperatures seen in Singapore and Japan they are not sure yet whether it improved their tyre warm-up problems in cooler conditions.
“The difficulty for us was more with changeable conditions or a drying track,” head of trackside engineering Xevi Pujolar explained. “Once we have these kind of conditions and we achieve a good result, then [we’ll] know if everything is sorted or not.
“At the moment we’re working and think that we are learning and we’re getting ready for such conditions. But we need to wait until we get the conditions like these, [discover whether] we can capitalise the results, and then we can say ‘yes’ or not.”
Red Bull’s prospects for 2024 are “scary” – Brown
“I would imagine, given Red Bull’s dominance, they turned off their development quicker than others to focus on next year’s cars,” Brown told Sky. “So that’s a bit scary, what might be coming.
“The rest of us are continuing to chase, but the rules are pretty stable so I think everything that we’re learning now will apply to next year’s car. I think all the men and women at McLaren are doing a great job and now it’s an efficiency game that before you produce, you better be confident what you’ve designed is working and that’s what’s happening.”
Newey reveals Renault frustration
Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey said one of the most depressing times in his carer occured when he realised their power unit supplier Renault was unwilling to invest in becoming more competitive with champions Mercedes at the end of 2014. That came in a meeting involving him, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko.
“I really didn’t want to leave, but we were in this position where Renault hadn’t produced a competitive engine in the turbo hybrid engine,” he told the official F1 website. “[If] that happens in the first year, okay, it’s new rules, we all make mistakes.
“But went to see Carlos Ghosn, then boss of Renault as it is a Christian, Helmut myself to kind of try to put pressure on him to the budget and basically ask how can you free more resource. So Viry, the engine division can can accelerate their programme because they are all understandably saying that they were resource limited and they needed more people and more money.
“Ghosn’s reply was ‘well, I have no interest in Formula 1, I’m only in it because my marketing people say I should be’. And that was such a depressing place to be.”
Newey was certain none of their rivals would allow them to use their engines as customers. “We knew Mercedes wouldn’t give us an engine. Ferrari had a great engine, but we’d used Ferraris initially and I’d taken away us away from Ferrari in the first year to Renault because I believed, rightly or wrongly, that if you’re in a championship battle, Ferrari would never give us equal equipment.
“So we were stuck with Renault ready for some huge amount of time looking forward since the future. And so being in the position where it looked like we couldn’t be properly competitive in any visible points in the future, it was just a very dark tunnel to be in.”
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