Alpine brings floor update to F1 Chinese GP “one race earlier than planned”, only available for one car

Photo Credit: BWT Alpine F1 Team
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As Alpine’s struggles continue, the French team is throwing everything at trying to improve the A524. The Enstone-based squad remains one of the 3 teams without a single point through the first four races of the season. They sit dead last in the standings as the team has the lowest finishes of the pointless teams.

As the F1 circus arrives into Shanghai for the first time in 5 years, an upgrade is coming.

Alpine are bringing a new floor to China as an attempt to move themselves up the pack. However, only one driver will be using the new floor. The team has decided that Esteban Ocon will use it, and they hope Pierre Gasly can get it by Miami.

As Famin prepares to bring the team to the Shanghai, he is aware that the past race in Japan was disappointing, and the Alpine hopes that the new floor can spark hope into a team that desperately needs it.

“The last race in Japan underlined how big a challenge we have on our hands to improve our performance level. We must develop the performance of the car in order to fight for higher positions. The level must be raised across all areas so we can get ourselves out of this difficult moment.

“While it was good to bring the first updates to the car in Suzuka, we must do more. The team has been working extremely hard and we have been able to bring an upgrade to one car this weekend, one race earlier than planned.

“Next up is the return to Shanghai this weekend for the first Sprint event of the season.”

Ocon, who has the privilege of getting the updates that should help the A524 go quicker, shared the same sentiment about the lack of upward momentum in Suzuka, and knowing that the upgrades he will receive will be great help for his season.

“The race in Japan was a tough one for the team. The car seemed more competitive in Qualifying, where we again managed to advance to Q2.

“However, that was only a small consolation given how the race eventually panned out. Ultimately, we lacked the pace to compete and, even without the performance loss, it would not have drastically changed the outcome of the race.

“The upgrades we brought to Suzuka were in line with our expectations, and I know the team is working extremely hard back at base to bring more performance to the car in the coming races.”

It has been five years since Formula 1 raced in China. That’s a long time in Formula 1 and that will bring some unique challenges to all teams and drivers this weekend. The cars are completely different to the 2019-spec as they have been ground effect ones since 2022, so preparation has been different to normal.

It’s a track with long straights, some very long corners, which, in the past, has brought high tyre degradation and graining. Matched with the fact it is a Sprint event, they have less preparation and therefore it is crucial to be dialled in from the get-go.

Both drivers were in Enstone last week on the simulator and putting the time in to be prepared in the best possible way.

Pierre Gasly, who will be on the back foot with the old floor, is also happy to be back in Shanghai.

“I’m looking forward to going back to China after five years away. The track is quite unique as it has long straights and some very long corners.

“There are many challenges and it will be interesting to see the conditions of the track given it’s been so many years since Formula 1 has raced there. And it is a Sprint Weekend, the first of the year, and the first with a slightly new format, so we will be looking to maximise any opportunities, which present themselves.

“We have to be on it straight away right from the very first Practice session in order to boost our chances over the race weekend.

“Our main focus is to keep on pushing as hard as we can, stay focused and motivated to catch up to the rest of the field.”