Six races into the season Alpine is standing behind Aston Martin in the Constructors Championship as they sit in P7. The Silverstone-based team managed to make up for lost points due to Stroll’s tyre failure in Baku, with Sebastian Vettel’s P2 finish and are now 12 points ahead. Despite some strong qualifying performances, like Ocon’s 5th position in Catalunya, the team is struggling to score points on Sundays, as they are lacking pace during races.
“We have work to do to understand our race pace deficit and it’s something we’re actively investigating,” explained Budkowski.
“It’s clear the car is capable of good performances in qualifying, but on some circuits, we can’t seem to replicate that good pace in race conditions, and that’s something we need to get on top of to score bigger points in the championship.”
Talking about last weekend’s Azerbaijan GP, he added: “Overall, it was an encouraging weekend up until Sunday. Our pace was relatively competitive on Friday up until Saturday and we reached Q3 with one car after a tricky session with many yellow and red flags.”
As for the race, Esteban Ocon was forced to an early retirement following a boost pressure loss, while Fernando Alonso secured a P6 after gaining four places in the last two laps after the restart; Alonso had been running in P11 as he dropped back before Max Verstappen's crash and the red flag.
“It was disappointing for Esteban to retire early on with a reliability issue, and unfortunately our race pace wasn’t strong enough to allow Fernando to fight for good positions in the race. It took a fantastic effort from him to secure sixth position in the last two laps."
The Executive Director is now hopeful the A521 will find a better pace for the French GP.
“We hope that our findings so far will help us achieve a good result in France, on a full-time circuit more typical of what we normally see in Formula 1.”
It's a home race for both the team and Esteban Ocon at Paul Ricard, hence the driver is sure everyone will put in extra efforts to do well.
“I think everyone in the team is desperate for a good race on home soil, and we’ll be working hard to do just that.”