Alpine to look over solutions after Alonso’s retirement. Fernando Alonso’s race was going from strength to strength until he ran out of one of the engine’s cylinders. He was losing a lot of time per lap. So much so that he wouldn’t even have scored if he finished the race.
That was the plan though, because the Alpine team wanted to continue and see whether or not they could actually see the checkered flag at the Mexican Grand Prix. So a reliability problem left the driver out again when his performance on a personal level was being more than good.
Alpine crew chief Otmar Szafnauer justifies what happened. They knew at the beginning that this could happen by prioritizing performance before freezing to work on it.
“It was a decision that was made before I got here, but I feel it’s the right thing to do. We had to gain performance in the power unit before the freeze,” Alpine analyzes Otmar. “We have pressed on that aspect to improve and evolve in reliability, because the FIA does allow work on that aspect,” he maintains in a statement to the ‘RaceFans’ media outlet.
“We must not forget that we have not made an unreliable engine on purpose, but in case you have to go wrong in one aspect, it is better there,” he reflects. “We have to tighten the area of performance right now, since we will not be able to evolve in that aspect until 2026,” adds Szafnauer in said statements.
He also justifies what happened in Mexico. He was riding comfortably until the engine problem. “The race was going as we had planned, unlike other times. We got the strategy right and everything went well until Fernando had that problem with the cylinders that forced him to stop the car,” analyzes the team leader.
“We tried to get him to the finish line, but it wasn’t possible. We knew it was going to be difficult having to manage the temperatures and the brakes, he even went a second slower per lap,” he says.