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Alpine "desperate" and with "extra pressure" for home soil result

Alpine "desperate" and with "extra pressure" for home soil result

F1 News

Alpine "desperate" and with "extra pressure" for home soil result

Alpine "desperate" and with "extra pressure" for home soil result

Alpine driver Esteban Ocon has declared the F1 team "desperate" to score a result in its home grand prix in France this weekend.

Executive director Marcin Budkowski has also claimed there is "extra pressure" to perform as Alpine races for the first time on home soil following its rebranding from Renault over the winter.

Alpine is currently languishing in seventh place in the constructors' championship after the opening six races of the year, with a best result of sixth from Fernando Alonso in the last grand prix in Azerbaijan.

For Ocon, who last raced in France in F1 in 2018, he said: "It feels like so long ago, so I’m very much ready and looking forward to doing that again this weekend.

"Obviously, I wasn’t racing in 2019 and last year there wasn’t a French Grand Prix, so I definitely have extra motivation and energy coming into this race.

"I think everyone in the team is desperate for a good race on home soil, and we’ll be working hard to do just that."

Fans return for F1

Across each day of track action, the Paul Ricard circuit will be welcoming 15,000 fans for the rescheduled event that was due to take place later this month only for F1 to reschedule in the wake of the cancellation of the Canadian and Turkish GPs.

Budkowski recognises the team will be in the limelight. He said: "A home race for every team is special.

"It’s a pleasure to represent Alpine on France soil, but there is also added attention on the team.

"There are more fans supporting us in the grandstands, VIPs and executives from the Renault Group and therefore the extra pressure to perform.

"Once the race weekend starts, though, every individual is focused on getting the most out of the car, the drivers and the whole team as we do at every race."

Flexi-wing changes

Budkowski has confirmed modifications have been made to the rear wings of the A521 in light of new regulations being introduced this weekend following the recent flexi-wing furore.

Crucially for Alpine, the team is hoping it can find a cure for its recent lack of race pace.

Budkowski added: "We have work to do to understand our race pace deficit and it’s something we’re actively investigating.

"It’s clear the car is capable of good performances in qualifying, but on some circuits, we can’t seem to replicate that good pace in race conditions, and that’s something we need to get on top of to score bigger points in the championship.

"We hope that our findings so far will help us achieve a good result in France, on a full-time circuit more typical of what we normally see in Formula 1."

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