Alpine to continue allowing drivers to race

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Alpine to continue allowing drivers to race

Alpine group boss Otmar Szafnauer sees no motive to cease Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon battling one another from the beginning.

The French outfit soaked up loads of the early TV protection in Saudi Arabia as their drivers Alonso and Ocon went forwards and backwards in an exhilarating scrap over a number of laps.

Ultimately Alpine pulled the plug by instructing Ocon to carry place, which dropped him into the clutches of Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas.

Ocon nonetheless went on to complete P6, Bottas being compelled into retirement with an engine situation, whereas if Alonso had not additionally met the identical destiny then Szafnauer believes the Spaniard would have adopted Ocon throughout the road in P7.

So regardless that some questioned Alpine’s choice to not have intervened earlier, there will likely be no order utilized to the drivers to cease them from battling one another from the get-go.

“They did precisely what we talked about earlier than the race. And it was good for everyone. Because it turned out, had Fernando not stopped on monitor we might have been sixth and seventh,” stated Szafnauer.

“And we’d have given the followers, and we did give the followers, a little bit of a present. And I feel that’s what it’s about. You’ve bought to allow them to race.

“It was clear, it’s what the followers need to see.”

Szafnauer was seen on the pit wall placing his head in his fingers because the battle unfolded, however he moved to make clear his motive for doing that.

“I imply, the one motive I did this (head in fingers) was we have been dropping a bit extra time than I anticipated,” he stated.

“And that’s, I feel, a bit of bit due to the track-specific stuff right here, and a bit of bit as a result of the automobiles can comply with one another simpler now, which was the goal of the brand new laws.

“When you can comply with simpler you can begin overtaking one another, one lap after the subsequent. So we’ve bought to see how Melbourne goes after which regulate.”

Alpine to continue allowing drivers to race

Requested if Alpine’s willingness to let Alonso and Ocon race would change in the event that they crashed, Szafnauer stated that was a “hypothetical factor” so he couldn’t give a direct reply.

Nonetheless, he did say Alpine would proceed to make use of the order for his or her drivers to carry station shifting forwards ought to the race attain the latter phases and there’s a clear factors haul to safe.

“In all my time in F1, once I was ready to have the ability to inform the drivers what to do, if on the finish of the race with 10 laps to go, even 15 laps to go, there is no such thing as a worth in swapping the 2, that means you’ll be able to’t catch the man in entrance of you, and no person behind you’ll be able to catch the 2 of you, you maintain station,” stated Szafnauer.

“However that’s actually exhausting to do initially of the race as a result of you’ll be able to’t predict what’s going to occur.

“However in the direction of the tip of the race if there’s 10 laps, 15 laps, 20 laps to go, it’s about maximising the group factors. And if holding station means maximise the group factors, that’s what we’ll do.”


With the brand new 2022 laws seemingly delivering on the aim to permit drivers to comply with one another nearer for longer, thus growing overtaking alternatives, it creates questions surrounding the long run function of DRS.

The overtaking support proved extraordinarily efficient across the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, that made clear by Alpine’s state of affairs because the chasing midfield pack stayed shut behind to vacuum up any scraps from the Alonso-Ocon battle, in addition to the function DRS performed within the techniques of Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen who squabbled for the race win.

Szafnauer highlighted the necessity to “assess” the affect DRS now has with the 2022 automobiles.

“The one factor we’ve bought to do is now assess what DRS does with these automobiles as a result of you’ll be able to comply with rather a lot nearer,” he stated.

“Earlier than, it was very easy to interrupt the DRS practice after which off you went. So we simply need to assess that.”




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