Alpine F1 Team's Sporting Director, Alan Permane, has made no attempt to hide how confused he was as to where his team’s pace went in Monza. However, he has every expectation for them to be back where they should’ve been as F1 makes its first return to Singapore since 2019. Not only this, but further success is anticipated around Suzuka as well. No doubt this will be of concern to McLaren as they endeavour to claw back the 18-point gap on their rival.
Having been considerably off the pace at this year’s Italian Grand Prix, Alpine’s Sporting Director, Alan Permane, told media on the ground in Monza (which included Motorlat) that they will be introducing a significant upgrade to the A522 at the Singapore Grand Prix. This update gives the team every belief that they will be back out in front of their midfield rivals after a second point-less race in 2022.
Just under two months ago, Permane had described Alpine’s progress as going ‘as good as we could have hoped’. Therefore, in Monza, Alpine fans would no doubt be thrilled hearing him call the outcome of this season’s Italian Grand Prix ‘an outlier’. Further excitement can be found for Alpine’s followers from the news that a new floor is on the way ahead of Singapore.
“We’ve got a new floor coming to Singapore, it’s got a massive step of downforce and we’ll be back where we should've been.” Permane said. A cruciall (and timely) update indeed seeing how dwnforce is vital on Singapore’s challenging Marina Bay Street Circuit and a key component to success. Not only this, Permane also views Suzuka as a circuit to suit his team as Alpine seek to extend the point lead over their nearest rival – McLaren. “We’re really looking forward to there, especially Suzuka with this car – it’s going to be fun.” Permane stated to those listening on in the Monza paddock.
However, the images of the sights of Singapore back on F1 screens are expected to also bring with it more images of bouncing Formula One cars on high-speed straights. This is clearly the view of Esteban Ocon who previously told the media "It's gonna be very bumpy. A big challenge I think for us very physically. I love Singapore, but the track itself is not my favourite I have to say." When such remarks were referred to by the media to Alan Permane, he played them down while displaying his good humour:
“I’m sure physically it will be very tough for them. It’s a long race, it’s a hot race, but it’s been like that ever since it’s been on the calendar. I don’t know whether it would be even harder. I guess it will be a bit harder because the cars are quite stiff. So it will be a long, physical race for them - but they’re fit guys, there’ll be okay for sure.”
Of course, nothing is guaranteed and as much as Alpine may be hopeful for success in Singapore – they had not anticipated Monza would bring so many issues.
Post-race, in Monza, Alan Permane told the media “We didn’t expect to struggle. I thought we would be okay. We ran absolutely fine on Friday and that’s the tricky thing, that’s what we don’t understand.” One can imagine McLaren hoping such a situation emerges for Alpine in Singapore if the Woking team is to stand any chance of getting back into the battle for 4th place. Alpine, on the other hand, surely know that they are the strong favourite for the coveted spot and should they have back-to-back success in Singapore and Suzuka – that may guarantee it.