Otmar Szafnauer says the battle for fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship is far from over despite his BWT Alpine F1 Team drawing clear of the McLaren F1 Team after last weekend’s São Paulo Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon finished fifth and eighth respectively at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace while McLaren’s two drivers, Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, both retired. This means Alpine head into the season finale in Abu Dhabi this weekend with a nineteen-point advantage.
However, Szafnauer, the Team Principal at Alpine, says the objectives remain the same despite the advantage they have over McLaren, and they will be pushing to end the year on a high at the Yas Marina Circuit.
“We still have a job on our hands this weekend with the objective to finish the season with both cars scoring points,” said Szafnauer. “The Championship is still close and, while last weekend’s race put us in a strong position, it ain’t over till it’s over!
“We will, therefore, remain focused on the task and that is preparing well on Friday, reaching Q3 on Saturday and then race well with both cars on Sunday.”
Alpine will give Jack Doohan his second free practice outing on Friday after he debuted at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez last month, and Szafnauer is expecting good things from the Australian once more.
“We also have Jack Doohan in the car in FP1 and we’ll count on his input to benefit the team’s weekend performance,” he said.
Szafnauer says everyone at Alpine is ready for the break after the end of the season, but they are all ready for the final push of the year this weekend.
“It’s been a long season and I know everyone in the team is looking ahead to a deserved break,” Szafnauer said. “It’s the final push in Abu Dhabi and I look forward to seeing how the race weekend pans out.”