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Szafnauer makes bold Alpine development claim

Szafnauer makes bold Alpine development claim

F1 News

Szafnauer makes bold Alpine development claim

Szafnauer makes bold Alpine development claim

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has outlined the rapid-fire changes he made to halve the development time of upgrades.

Szafnauer joined Alpine in February as part of a management restructuring exercise for the F1 team.

Taking on the manufacturer's 100-race plan to become regular podium contenders, the 58-year-old acted quickly to identify and rectify what he viewed to be key problems holding the team back.

Speaking to selected media, including GPFans, Szafnauer said: “One of the big things I did when I first got here was to look at how long it takes us to bring upgrades to the track, and it took us a long time, longer than I was used to at other places.

“We had just a bit of a sub-group to look at how we can do things differently simultaneously, release things a little bit early from the tunnel, start the engineering work early at the expense of sometimes having to re-do it because things change, but most of the time not, and just saving time.

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“One of the big things was to be able to bring floors in almost half the time. Now, probably the biggest contributor to downforce is the floor.

“If you can bring those floors quicker, and we brought - I think we had four different versions of the floor, and you have to bring five of each one of those - so it’s a big component."

Szafnauer highlights Alpine 'squeeze'

Alpine finished the season as 'best of the rest', behind the top three teams but 14 points clear of fifth-placed McLaren.

Whilst its midfield rival is working to improve its infrastructure, Szafnauer hailed the benefit of being able to bring updates to the track in significantly reduced time.

“It takes a long time from finding it in the tunnel to delivering it on track," he added.

"If you can squeeze that, you can bring four instead of three or four instead of two upgrades then you're better off.

“That was one thing we did well this year, and because of it, you saw the car did improve from where we started.”

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