Alpine F1 overtakes McLaren and widens the gap in the championship after Monaco. After the Monaco Grand Prix, the Alpine team is fifth in the Constructors’ World Championship, 18 points ahead of McLaren.
The Alpine team secured its first podium of the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship season in Monaco on Sunday, with Frenchman Esteban Ocon finishing third in a race contested in tricky conditions with the arrival of rain.
Alpine ahead of McLaren
Esteban Ocon’s team-mate Pierre Gasly finished seventh in the sixth round of the 2023 season, giving the French carmaker’s team a big points tally in the world championship and moving up to fifth place ahead of McLaren, which it now leads by 18 points.
“What a brilliant day for the team here in Monaco. Congratulations to everyone today, from the track side, to our staff across Enstone and Viry for their hard work in delivering a car that has proven its ability to fight for the podium,” said Otmar Szafnauer, Alpine’s Principal Team Principal. The very man whose head is on the chopping block after threats from Alpine Renault CEO Laurent Rossi just a few weeks ago.
“Today was about staying calm under pressure – especially for our pit crew, engineers and strategists – in the face of challenging circumstances with variable tyre strategies and unpredictable weather conditions.”
“It was also two world class races from both drivers Esteban and Pierre to deliver such a great team result. Well done to everyone and this result should serve as motivation for more results like this over the course of the season.”
This weekend in Monaco, the Alpine team introduced the second part of a package of upgrades – including new sidepods – and it is clear that these new features have worked on this highly atypical track, with Esteban Ocon finishing fourth in Saturday’s qualifying session, just a tenth behind the Red Bull of polesitter Max Verstappen.
Laurent Rossi who is CEO of Alpine automobiles and the Alpine F1 team has launched an attack on the team’s “frame of mind” and failure to perform this year.
“We have started with a performance deficit, on one hand, and also an execution deficit,” Rossi told French broadcaster Canal+
“That’s a lot – and it shows.
“Because we are in a position that is not at all worthy of the resources invested, and we are far – very far – from the final objective of the year.”
Considering how the team has finished in the last two races, Rossis’ threats appear justified.
Laurent Rossi “very proud”now
Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi – who warned his team a few weeks ago of the consequences of failure after poor results at the start of the season – said he was “very proud” of his team’s performance at the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend, where Frenchman Esteban Ocon claimed the team’s first podium of the season with a third place finish.
“I’m happy for the team. I’m not going to say that I want them to finish P3 in every race, that would be unrealistic. I’d love that, but we still have a lot of work to do to get there,” Laurent Rossi told Reuters after the Monaco Grand Prix.
“But yes, you certainly have to be serious, diligent, to deliver a solid performance like they did this weekend – the drivers, the engineers, the mechanics – everyone here at the track and also at the factories in Enstone and Viry.”
“It was solid, just like in Miami [both drivers finished in the points in Miami]. All I need is for them to repeat that. I’m proud of them and they should be proud too.”
Asked if he thought his earlier comments had – in his opinion – had a galvanising effect on the whole team, the Frenchman replied: “It’s a bit early to say that. It would be presumptuous to say that too.”
“But it certainly had an effect which was to say that we weren’t going to be satisfied with that, that there were a few things we needed to improve.”
“The performance of the car, as I said at the time, will come with time. You need regular updates, upgrades on the car, and we will do that. In terms of operational excellence, they’ve done that and I’m happy with that.”
“They also showed a very good mindset in the last two races, so whether it worked or not, they’re doing what was missing, so I’m happy.”
After the Monaco Grand Prix, the Alpine team overtook McLaren and is now fifth in the Constructors’ World Championship, 18 points clear of the Woking team.