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Alpine double down on 'performance first' PU plan

Alpine double down on 'performance first' PU plan

F1 News

Alpine double down on 'performance first' PU plan

Alpine double down on 'performance first' PU plan

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has doubled down on Renault's decision to focus on performance rather than reliability with its power units.

F1 teams are in the midst of an engine freeze that extends until the new regulations are introduced in 2026.

However, as this freeze only related to the performance of the power unit and not reliability, Renault focussed on extracting the maximum horsepower from the E-tech RE22 as possible with reliability left to a later date.

After numerous retirements and growing frustration from Fernando Alonso, Szafnauer conceded the "biggest challenge" of the winter will be to fix these issues.

"We mustn’t forget that at the beginning of the year, we set out – this was before I was here but I think it was the right decision – on the powertrains side to air on the side of performance because the powertrain was going to be frozen," he said.

“So we made a conscious decision to push the performance envelope and fix reliability issues as we got to them because the FIA allows that.

“That was a conscious and strategic decision and now, when we face them, we can fix them."

Renault doing "right thing" strategically

Alpine is involved in a tense battle with McLaren over fourth in the constructors' championship.

The French manufacturer has lost ground in each of the last two events and holds a slender seven-point lead with two events remaining.

Aware of the potential cost of further problems, Szafnauer added: "We didn’t do this on purpose to not be reliable.

"If you have to air on a side then you push the performance boundary because you can’t add performance now until 2026 but you can fix reliability issues. And we can do it over the winter.

“Strategically, I think it was the right thing to do and we still have two races left to finish in fourth and I think we can do that.”

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