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United States GP: Preview - Alpine


The team moved back into fourth place in the Constructors' Championship after scoring 18 points in Suzuka last time out. Attention turns to Austin this weekend for the United States Grand Prix where the team brings its final upgrade of the season. Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer looks ahead to this weekend's race in Texas.

What are the main considerations for the Circuit of the Americas?
Otmar Szafnauer: "It's always great when we race in the United States - home turf for me - especially in Austin, which is a favourite among many of us in Formula 1. It's a very demanding racetrack that usually brings some good racing with a fast first sector, the long, back straight and some slow-speed corners towards the end, which has some opportunities for overtaking. It's been resurfaced in the last year to combat some of the bumps we experienced there last season, so that will be interesting to understand in Practice on Friday."

What upgrades does the team have for Austin?
OS: "Firstly, it's been a fantastic effort on car development so far this season, so credit to everyone involved in ensuring a constant flow of updates at most races this year. We brought a new floor to the car for Singapore and Japan and that worked as expected. We especially saw the improvements at Suzuka, which is a more conventional circuit than Marina Bay, and we were satisfied with how it performed and that bodes well for futures races. For Austin, we are bringing a small modification to the outer section of the latest floor, which is our final update of the year."

Was it satisfying to bounce back strongly in Suzuka after the double DNF in Singapore?
OS: "It was important for us to recover after the disappointment in Singapore and come back with a strong race in Suzuka, which we duly achieved. I was impressed with the team's attitude to quickly put behind one poor race and convert that into our best result of the season one race later. We need a few more strong performances like this and avoid reliability issues if we are to achieve our targets for the season."

Esteban Ocon arrives in Austin following a season best fourth position last time out in Japan. Full of confidence heading into the final four races, the Frenchman is excited for the challenge ahead in the rollercoaster ride of Austin.

How do you reflect on the team's weekend in Japan?
Esteban Ocon: "As a team we left Japan pleased with our points collection. We were strong on both Saturday and Sunday, and it felt good to bring home deserving points and get back into fourth position in the Constructors' Championship. It was an intense and busy two weeks for the team, across both Singapore and Japan, and we will continue to push as we now look ahead to the United States Grand Prix this weekend."

What are your thoughts on the Circuit of the Americas?
EO: "COTA is like an exciting rollercoaster ride for driver and machine that really puts both to the test. You can split the circuit in two parts with the very high-speed section at the start, going pretty much flat out before turn 11. Then, following the long back straight, we pass the iconic observation tower and tackle a combination of technical low-speed corners to end the lap. It's fast and flowing, but also bumpy, which adds to the challenge. I like this track and I'm looking forward to being back."

Do you enjoy driving in Austin, Texas?
EO: "The weekend as a whole in Texas is always a cool experience. Austin is definitely a favourite for teams and drivers, and we are all excited to be back racing in the United States, where the sport has grown so much the last few years. Austin is a vibrant city with a lot to offer. I know the team really enjoys spending time in Texas but more importantly, we will be looking to carry the momentum from a good result in Japan and focus on finishing the season strongly with only four races left."

Fernando Alonso gears up for his sixteenth Formula 1 Grand Prix on American soil, as he looks for a strong result this weekend in Austin. Having returned to the top ten places in Suzuka, Fernando casts his thoughts on what's ahead at the the thrilling Circuit of the Americas.

Back to the points in Japan. How was the weekend for you?
Fernando Alonso: "We had good pace all weekend in Japan in the wet and dry conditions. In the end though, we had the bad weather on Sunday, and we faced a sprint race of sorts with under an hour of running. It was important to go racing and the fans got to see some action after they waited so patiently in the rain. From our side, I think we missed an opportunity for an even bigger points haul than we got, having finished seventh after starting in this position. The conditions made it very tricky. We hope to further stretch our fourth position lead over McLaren."

You enjoy racing in Austin. What are you expecting from this weekend?
FA: "It's a good circuit to go racing on. It usually provides exciting racing and there are overtaking opportunities. I have always enjoyed coming to America for motorsports. This season we've already had one race in Miami there and next year there will be three Grands Prix. The circuit in Austin has a good mixture of straights and corners and it has a lot of undulations and sweeping corners. Sector 1 is especially fun but also a real challenge. The fans have really fallen in love with the sport and we are guaranteed a great atmosphere with full grandstands."

What makes visiting America special?
FA: "I've raced there lots in Formula 1 and of course in IndyCar too. But I also enjoy sports in general in America. The way America goes about sport is quite different and it's very exciting to watch live. It's all one big show, with lots of entertainment, shows, celebrities and music acts. I've gone to the NBA previously and would love to see more sports games there if I had the time. It's great we have more races in America, as it's always fun to go racing there."

Driver/Team Facts

Fernando Alonso led his first ever Formula 1 lap in Malaysia in 2003, over 19 years later he led a lap at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix.

Fernando finished on the podium at the Circuit of the Americas in its inaugural race in 2012. To date this remains his best finish at the track.

2016 is the only season that Esteban Ocon has been outqualified by a team-mate at the track.

Since the inaugural Grand Prix in 2012, only five drivers have won at the track.

Esteban's best finish in Austin is sixth position in 2017.

The 2012 United States Grand Prix was also the first time Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando finished on the podium together.

Renault-powered cars have had one win, seven podiums, two poles, and 226 points in Austin.

12 starts for Renault/Alpine-powered cars at COTA.


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