Alpine lay out plan to catch Red Bull and Mercedes

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Alpine has explained how they will catch Red Bull and Mercedes as they set out their targets for the 2023 season. Team boss Otmar Szafnauer stressed the team would aim to develop their cars at a “higher rate” than their competitors in order to make moves on the frontrunners. 


Szafnauer accepted that the gap to the leaders was “big” but hinted it was not impossible to make a move on Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes. He said: “The gap to third was big and we’ve got to close that gap. But in order to do so we must develop at a higher rate than any other Formula One team out there, which isn’t easy to do. 

“Even the top three, for us to catch them, that means our development rate must be higher. That’s what we’re looking to do and that’s what this A523 will hopefully do for all of us.”

The team showed off two liveries on Thursday evening as they became the last constructor to launch their new designs. Alpine will use a pink paint scheme for the opening round in Bahrain and on a “few” occasions in 2023. 

However, the French manufacturer retains their traditional blue theme for the new campaign. Alpine beat McLaren to fourth in the world championship last season after pipping McLaren at the final race. 

But, Szafnauer has admitted the team is aiming for more in 2023 as Pierre Gasly joins Esteban Ocon in the cockpit. He added: “The year ahead is less DNF’s, more points, hopefully some podiums, a lot closer to third and further away from fifth as we were in 2022.

“And I’m happy to say we’ve got the racing spirit back in Enstone and Viry. We have great collaboration between the two places. 

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“If we can all stay together, work a little bit harder. a little bit smarter and make our development curve just a little bit steeper than our competition, we will soon get to where we want to be. That’s vying for world championships.”

Alpine’s CEO Laurent Rossi also revealed that the French squad had high expectations for the new campaign with the race team being set a “minimum” goal of topping the midfield. 

He said: “We were fifth in 2021, fourth in 2022, naturally now we are looking at the top spots… The gap to third was rather large and we need to bridge that gap. We want to finish fourth again very minimum, target assignment for all of these guys but this time in a rather robust fashion.”

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