Saudi Arabian GP: Race team notes - Alpine


BWT Alpine F1 Team made it two points scoring finishes from the first two races of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship as Esteban Ocon finished eighth and Pierre Gasly ninth in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Esteban's four points ensured he claimed his first points of the 2023 campaign, while Pierre was able to repeat his ninth-place effort achieved in Bahrain on debut with the team a fortnight ago.

It was a largely uneventful evening for the team with both drivers on a one-stop - Medium to Hard - strategy in the 50-lap race. Pierre had a small scare on lap one as he was tagged by McLaren's Oscar Piastri on the exit of Turn 2 and escaped without damage to his A523.

Pierre pitted first for Hards on lap 14, with Esteban into the pits two laps later for the same compound. A Safety Car on lap 17 for Lance Stroll's retirement meant both drivers were jumped by Yuki Tsunoda who was yet to pit at that stage of the race. At the restart, Esteban cruised past the Alpha Tauri on lap 24, before Pierre repeated the move with a neat overtake into Turn 1.

From there, both drivers ran conservatively to the chequered flag to guarantee a deserved six points.

Esteban Ocon: "Overall, I would say it's been a reasonable race for the team. The final result reflects our performance in the race and eighth place is the maximum we could have achieved today. Having both cars in the points is definitely positive, especially after Bahrain, but we must not be completely satisfied with where we are at the moment. Our car has potential and we will continue learning and building to catch up to our competitors. We want to challenge for positions higher up the grid, and we will keep working hard to do that. We will debrief on this weekend and our attention will quickly turn to Australia where we'll aim for more."

Pierre Gasly: "It's definitely satisfying to make it two points finishes from my first two races with the team. I think finishing in eighth and ninth was the best we could achieve today, though. We're making positive steps; we're learning things each time we get in the car and we must continue to apply that knowledge to keep improving the overall package. On my side, there's more to come, especially in extracting the maximum in Qualifying, which will allow us better track position for the Race. I'm looking forward to debriefing with the team, continuing my learning and going again in Australia where we want to show further improvements."

Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal: "Today's race highlighted many things: areas where we know there are positives and other areas where we need to improve. Finishing with Esteban in eighth and Pierre in ninth was probably the best we could achieve today and we're making steps in the right direction towards our targets. We're not where we want to be right now, that is clear, and we have a lot of hard work ahead of us if we're to take the fight further up the grid. We've reeled in some of the teams who were in front of us in the championship last year and we must continue to chip away at that gap and close it. As a team we'll debrief on this weekend as there are many positives as well as some finer details for us to improve on. We have a good batch of upgrades coming up as per our development plan and we look forward to Australia in two weeks' time where we aim to apply our learnings and again come away with a good team result."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Jeddah here.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 19/03/2023
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