Emilia Romagna Grand Prix: Preview - Alpine


Bruno Famin, Team Principal: The first point of the season in Miami shows that we are making progress after a very difficult start to our campaign.

"In the last two races we have demonstrated a slight rise in competitiveness and ability to race in more encouraging positions on track. Even if part of that is due to some track specifics, we have been able to unlock some performance courtesy of our upgrades. We will not be bringing any significant ones over the next few races, but we keep pushing hard at the factories to improve the car and extract more performance.

This weekend is our first European race of the season and a return to a conventional track. Imola is synonymous with Formula 1, it's really a legendary circuit. It's very fast, tight, challenging and it's great to still race at these iconic tracks. It's back to a normal race weekend without a Sprint, so we will aim to have a constructive Friday and set ourselves up well for the remainder of the weekend when it counts. Other than Canada, this is the beginning of an intense period on the calendar racing through Europe right until the summer break. It's important that the team remains focused and keeps pushing at the factories in order to bring more performance to the car, which is our natural aim.

Esteban Ocon: Looking back at the last race in Miami, it was nice to finally come away with a point and get off the mark for the season. I feel we have been slowly getting closer to the points and making progress in recent races, and finally in Miami we demonstrated that with a small reward. Everyone at the team has high motivation and have continued to push despite the difficult start to the season. However, we cannot be fully satisfied with fighting for minor points. We still have a long way to go, and our competitors are not standing still. We must use this result for added motivation, to keep our foot down and keep making progress.

After six flyaway races to start the season, it is exciting to be returning to Europe. First up is Imola where, unfortunately, we did not race last year due to the floods in the region. I have fond memories of racing in Italy, particularly in karting and I always enjoy going back racing there. The fans are so passionate and knowledgeable. They might be wearing different colours to us in the grandstands, but you can still feel their energy! The circuit in Imola is very fast and flowing and
also very technical in places, particularly with riding the kerbs and traction. You always try to keep the minimum speed up through the corners and you need to balance being aggressive over the kerbs without unsettling the car.

This year marks the 30th anniversary since the passing of Ayrton Senna and I know every team and driver will be paying their respects this weekend. Ayrton is a legend and icon of our sport and raised the bar in terms of speed and commitment. Re-watching some of his pole laps back, he was always right on the limit and hustling the car through the corners. Amazing to watch! We also return to Imola for the first time following the devastating floods last year, which caused so much damage and displaced so many people in the Emilia Romagna region. It will be a week of reflection and it will be great to see the fans again. Hopefully we can put on a great show for them.

Esteban's won from pole position at Imola in the FIA F3 European Championship in October 2014, on his way to winning the championship that season.

Pierre Gasly: In the end, Miami, on my side at least, was kind of bittersweet. We did everything right in the race to put ourselves in contention to score points. In the end, with other factors not going our way, it meant we missed out on scoring. That said, the main positive was the fact the team scored with one car for the first of the season. I think that's really pleasing for the team. It's a great confidence boost for everyone at Enstone and Viry but serves as an indicator that we are far from where we need to be as a team. We have to keep working hard and keep adding performance to the car. We will take the positives when we can and, all in all, the last two events have been a much stronger showing than the first few races.

Imola marks the beginning of a busy few months in Europe - in between Canada - for Formula 1. It was a pity to miss last year's race due to the floods in the region. We will be racing with those affected firmly in our minds one year on. Imola is a fantastic circuit on the calendar and one of those places which goes hand in hand with motorsport and Formula 1. It's technical in places, high-speed throughout and usually provides good racing, even on a short lap. We're back to a normal race weekend after Sprints at the last two events. We have to be on it right from the beginning of Friday and put ourselves in a competitive position ahead of the all-important Qualifying.

This weekend will be special for many reasons, not least as we remember the legend Ayrton Senna 30 years on from his tragic death. I will be paying tribute to one of my sporting heroes - and inspiration for getting into racing - by wearing a special Senna Helmet during the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. The helmet will be auctioned after the race to raise money for the Ayrton Senna Foundation aimed at supporting children's education in Brazil. A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of driving Senna's first Formula 1 car, the 1984 Toleman, at Silverstone. That was a truly special day and something I will remember for the rest of my life. It is going to be a Grand Prix weekend filled with many emotions to remember Senna on track in Imola.

Pierre's 12th on the grid in Miami was the highest start for Alpine in a Grand Prix this year

Article from Pitpass (http://www.pitpass.com):

Published: 15/05/2024
Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2024. All rights reserved.