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F1 | Budkowski says Alpine "needs to do better" if the team "wants to fight for fifth in the championship" after doube retirement in US GP

Marcin Budkowski spoke on the frustration of a missed opportunity after leaving the Circuit of the Americas pointless when both cars retired with mechanical issues.

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F1 | Budkowski says Alpine "needs to do better" if the team "wants to fight for fifth in the championship" after doube retirement in US GP
Fuente imagen: Hasan Bratic - MotorLat

Alpine’s Team Principal was not short on expressing how bad a weekend with no points in the bag is for the team, as F1 heads to the final five races of the 2021 calendar: “It was just a poor weekend overall, performance-wise, we're less competitive than our usual level. And then pretty much everything that could go wrong, went wrong.” 

The battle Alpine is holding with AlphaTauri will be crucial to decide the team that finishes 5th on the constructors’ championship. With Alonso and Ocon scoring a DNF for the French team, the crew that’s based in Faenza is now just 10 points away from the Hungarian GP winners.

“We're not happy about our weekend, and we need to do better if we want to fight for fifth in the championship going forward.” Marcin Budkowski told motorsport.com

As Gasly, Alonso and Ocon retired from the US Grand Prix, AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda kept a good performance to maintain his 9th and final position, scoring 2 points that leave the Faenza-based-team just 10 units away from the French team.

"It was a wing issue on Fernando's, which was quite obvious. The investigation is ongoing, but it's an unusual failure. With Esteban, we're suspecting a problem at the back of the car. And given the position and the competitiveness at that stage, we just decided not to take any risks, and to stop the car."

When asked if Alonso’s issue was related to a brush with a tyre wall that the Spaniard had earlier in the Austin weekend, the Polish was clear: “If we changed it or not, we have methods of inspecting if there's any issue, and obviously we wouldn't have left a part that is suspicious on the car.”

The 40-year-old driver starred in some amazing laps of action when he fought Kimi Räikkönen and then Antonio Giovinazzi for positions on his way to get back to the points, and track-limits orders by race control played a significant role.

"It was proper racing, there was probably a bit too much attention than needed on the track limits issue. But it just shows that the best way to close this issue is to have a clear line on it. And obviously Fernando didn't feel it was clear enough, and that led to more incidents than were necessary," said Budkowski.

“We tried everything to get him some points out of this race, including a slightly different strategy to try to build a tyre advantage at the end of the race, and unfortunately the issue we had with the rear wing robbed us of a pretty exciting end.”

Having taken grid penalties since Friday, Fernando Alonso focused since qualifying session on positioning ahead of his equals Sebastian Vettel and George Russel, in a tight midfield battle that, according to Budkowski, would have been exciting until the last lap at COTA if it wasn’t for the Spaniard retiring, knowing that the Aston Martin German managed his way through P10.

“I think he would have been in that mix with Vettel, exactly what Seb did is having a tyre advantage and managing to pick people off one-by-one.”

“Difficult to know where he [Alonso] would have ended up, also without the Giovinazzi business he would have probably been better off. But the reality is we didn't finish the race. So it's irrelevant,” he concluded.

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