The fight for fourth place in the constructors' championship is more than alive. A strong result for Alpine in Italy saw them take fourth place in the constructors' championship, however McLaren woke up in Singapore with P4 and P5 for both of their drivers respectively, something that hadn't happened for a long time. Thanks to this, McLaren was positioned in fourth place in the constructors with a total of 129 points, while Alpine remains with 125 points, a difference of only four points. There are still 5 races left (Japan, United States, Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi), which are not favorable for one of these two specific teams, so they will have to concentrate to achieve perfect weekends.
In the last Singapore Grand Prix, Alpine had a double retirement due to mechanical problems in the power unit and left the Asian country without points, a fact that was quite beneficial for McLaren. Reliability issues at the French team with the Renault engine have come up quite a bit, however Alpine say they are now paying the price for wanting to extensively develop their power unit.
“There are always teething problems. Obviously we took a lot on this year, changing a huge amount. And we’re a huge amount better off in terms of performance for what was done over the last couple of years, really.” Pat Fry, who serves as Alpine’s chief technical officer, commented as reported by Motorsport.com. “Some great work has gone on, but it was always done knowing that we’d chase performance and reliability we’ll fix. And I think that’s a courageous way about moving forward, isn’t it?”
“They were different problems [the cause of both retirements in Singapore]. The engines were back on Tuesday lunchtime, stripped and understood, and we’re working on it. The issues are relatively new, I would say. They need to be understood, and until you dig into what the root cause is, you’re never quite sure, are you? So you’ve got to do your analysis properly.” Pat Fry stated.
“We discovered it was two different problems [the retirements from both Alpines in Singapore], things happened differently. It is frustrating to not finish the race, especially with everything that happened on the later part. But the most important thing is that the car is performing in the end.” Esteban Ocon affirmed. “We have a car which is great, we’ve brought some updates that are working. So the car is competitive.
“We just need to run two normal weekends, on both sides. And to score the points that we can with the car we have, because it’s more than possible. What I know is that we had a couple of issues in that race at the start, and obviously the failure later on. So it’s not something that normally happens because the engine normally ran smoothly in the rest of the year.”
It will be a matter of time to see if Alpine's power unit problems have been solved, however, we know that these types of problems can leave some consequences, including grid penalties in later races.