While Alpine’s driver market shenanigans grabbed the headlines this winter and caught the attention of chief executive Laurent Rossi and team principal Ottmar Schaffnauer, the impact was hardly felt on the track.
And Rossi believes that the target he set at the beginning of last year – the battle at the front of the Alpine in the 100 races – remains in full force and does not need to change.
“For now, it’s not canceled because we’re in the process [until the end of the year] With Fernando, it’s good,” Rossi explained.
“Normally I would argue that we should be able to absorb the bumps on the road easily, because that’s the most important thing with a car at this level.
“If you think about it Max Verstappen In an 18th or 19th place car, I suspect it will do better than maybe three positions. And the other way around: if you take a driver in that car and put them in Red Bull, I’m sure he’ll score a podium and win. So the car is still the biggest performance driver. Accordingly, we will deliver,” he said.
Alpine is currently fourth in the Constructors’ Championship and is set to introduce a new floor at the Singapore Grand Prix which could deliver a ‘huge’ step forward in performance, said Sporting Director Alan Perman.
It was his progress on the Alpine route that gave Rossi confidence that he could achieve his goal.
“We will make the right changes, the team is focused and the plan is clear,” he said. “We are also strengthening. So this will always be the most important thing: that the car should perform.
“The driver will get you two or three tenths more, which can be extremely important in a race, but the difference between third and fourth is more than a driver can achieve.
“So now we have to deliver on the car, and the good news is that it looks like we have a sound concept in terms of providing updates that will constantly improve performance.”