Zhou pleased with Alfa Romeo reliability

In the round-up: Zhou Guanyu is encouraged by the progress Alfa Romeo have made with their car’s reliability.

In brief

Alfa Romeo has made “massive step” in reliability – Zhou

Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu says his team has made a “massive step” with the team’s reliability, despite a pair of concerning moments during testing.

Zhou was quickest in the second day of running but abandoned a practice start in the pit lane in the final minutes after a problem. In the early session of yesterday’s final day, Zhou’s team mate Valtteri Bottas stopped on track with a suspected power unit problem.

Despite the concerns, Zhou believes the team have made a vast improvement in reliability from 2022, where they were plagued by technical problems in races and practice sessions.

“We have done a massive step forward, together with also the Ferrari guys, in reliability issues,” Zhou said.

“Firstly starting with the cooling system, which was kind of our main part that we tried to improve during the year. It also slowed our other package development throughout the season for other parts to gain downforce. So we were focusing on making the car finish to the line. So we’re definitely aiming for much less DNFs between the drivers, because last year we had quite a lot.”

Alpine lost no downforce from anti-porpoising measures – Ocon

Alpine have not lost any downforce from new technical regulations introduced to curb porpoising, says Esteban Ocon.

The FIA enforced rule changes to the 2023 technical regulations in a bid to reduce aerodynamic porpoising in F1’s current ground effect cars. Car floors have been raised slightly, along with other minor changes to reduce the high speed bouncing effect.

After three days of running in the team’s new car, Ocon says Alpine have already clawed back the performance naturally lost from the new measures.

“If you take the regulations, we should have lost downforce and I don’t feel that’s been the case,” Ocon said. “So that’s pretty good.

“I feel a lot of all the different things between last year’s car and this year’s car in terms of how it handles, in terms of balance stability and braking stability as well, which is improved.”

‘Worth sacrificing qualifying for better tyre wear’ – Magnussen

Kevin Magnussen believes it is worth his Haas team sacrificing one-lap pace to try and make its car easier on its tyres during races.

Teams ran all six of Pirelli’s dry tyre compounds during testing, with Magnussen saying the team specifically focused on the C1, C2 and C3 compounds they will run in next weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

“We tried the compounds that we’re going to use at the race,” Magnussen said. “I think that’s one area that you want to always improve on and try and get less degradation and look after the tyres in the race.

“You can even trade a bit of quali performance to try and get a better tyre management or an easier car on the tyres, because that’s the most important point in the race. So I think that would be one of the things we try and focus on.”

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