“We don’t expect to take penalties this season”– Alpine is confident of not breaching the allowed number of exhausts for a team.
A team can use only eight exhausts per driver a year, and so far, Alpine has used seven exhausts in Esteban Ocon’s car and five in Fernando Alonso’s.
This brings them immensely near to facing a grid penalty, while other teams have hardly used more than four exhausts per driver till now, with half a more season yet to go.
But Alpine is confident that they wouldn’t have to face any penalty, as they had to use exhausts excessively due to some initial issues, and now they have fixed it.
“We had an issue at the beginning of the year which meant that we limited the mileage of our exhausts to avoid failure during the race,” said Alpine’s executive director Marcin Budkowski.
“We have introduced a few exhausts at the beginning of the year to contain the risk. We believe we solved this issue now with a spec of exhaust we introduced during the season.”
“What we’re doing now is really managing the pool. We have a number of exhausts per car for the season, we just need to manage it. And effectively you manage them between practice sessions, qualifying, race, by having a bit more resources in your pool you can use them in the most efficient way for the rest of the season.”
“So touch wood, we don’t expect to take penalties this season. But obviously, as we’ve used a few more than we would have liked to at the beginning of the season, then we are exposed.”
Rivals’ engines have made gains.
When Budkowski was asked about the comparison of Renault’s engine to other teams, he was quick to respond but unfortunately had a negative analysis.
“I’m not gonna answer this one directly. We have a competitive analysis, and we have a fairly good idea of where we stack in terms of power, but also in terms of energy management, weight and packaging and things like this.
“But it’s a 2019 engine we are using. As a result, some of our competitors made gains that we haven’t.”