Alpine’s Otmar Szafnauer: “We’re making steps in the right direction towards our targets”

Otmar Szafnauer believes the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix highlighted the positives and the areas that the BWT Alpine F1 Team need to improve on as Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly delivered a double-points finish for the Enstone-based team.

Ocon ended the race eighth for this first top ten finish of the season, with Gasly following home ninth to maintain his one hundred per cent scoring record since joining Alpine ahead of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season.

Szafnauer, the Team Principal at Alpine, feels the team made progress with the A523 in between the Bahrain and Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekends, but there is still pace to come from the car, with upgrades coming in the not to distant future aimed at helping the team close the gap to the four teams currently ahead of them.

“Today’s race highlighted many things: areas where we know there are positives and other areas where we need to improve,” said Szafnauer.  “Finishing with Esteban in eighth and Pierre in ninth was probably the best we could achieve today and we’re making steps in the right direction towards our targets.

“We’re not where we want to be right now, that is clear, and we have a lot of hard work ahead of us if we’re to take the fight further up the grid. We’ve reeled in some of the teams who were in front of us in the championship last year and we must continue to chip away at that gap and close it.

“As a team we’ll debrief on this weekend as there are many positives as well as some finer details for us to improve on.

“We have a good batch of upgrades coming up as per our development plan and we look forward to Australia in two weeks’ time where we aim to apply our learnings and again come away with a good team result.”