Alpine’s team principal says that their failed initial F1 crash test shows desire to improve

Photo Credit: BWT Alpine F1 Team
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Bruno Famin, boss of Alpine Formula 1, has stated that the team’s ambitions have been proven by the failed crash tests this winter, so there’s no need to be upset about failing on the first try. 

Technical director Matt Harman said that the only carry-over component from last season was the steering wheel, as the Enstone-based team unveiled an almost entirely new competitor for 2024 at its training on Wednesday.

The team is keeping their fingers crossed that the new car, which was built only hours before its debut, will be able to achieve the ambitious goals it set for it and move up the grid during the season.

Harman had suggested that the team was pushing things to their limits, and he went so far as to say that some parts of the design had been excessive.

“We have pushed some elements to the limit and, in some cases, beyond that,” he said.

Perhaps this remark was in an allusion to wintertime whispers that Alpine failed some of the FIA’s required crash tests on their first attempt.

While Famin, the team principal of Alpine, said that the team had to redo several tests, which it eventually passed, he expressed gratitude rather than disappointment at the decision.

“We had to redo some tests, some homologations tests,” he said. “But I think it’s just the normal process.”

“If you pass all the tests the first time, it means that you have not been ambitious enough. So, let’s see what will be the final result, but the fact of having to redo some tests is not at all a criticism.”

Alpine may have to quickly extract performance from its brand-new car if it wants to avoid losing too much ground to the top 5 teams. It’s in contrast to the benchmark Red Bull squad that has chosen to evolve its design for the current season after they won 21 of 22 races last season.

Also, there is no room for a revision next year if the new design doesn’t work as expected, because 2026 sees a significant change in the regulations. However, Alpine don’t see the new philosophy as a big risk that could backfire.

“No gamble,” he said. “We worked hard to develop a quite totally new car. Everything that was possible to change as per the regulation, we changed it.

“This is due to two reasons: the first one is because we learned from the past, of course, we learned about aero, we learned about tyres, we learned about tyre performance and tyre degradation, of course.

“And the second reason is that I think, we are not the only ones, but we have the totally new 2026 regulations coming by the middle of 2024.

“I think we will need a lot of resources to start working on the ’26 project quite early in the season, and the 2025 car might be only a mild evolution of the ’24 one.

“It was important to make a big step into 2024. We will see how fast is that.

“There are a lot of new things, and we don’t know absolutely where we are going to be on the grid. What will be important is our ability to develop the car during the season.”