30. 4. 2023
30 April 2023
BWT Alpine F1 Team finished today’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix with Pierre Gasly fourteenth and Esteban Ocon fifteenth on a weekend filled with frustration and disappointment for the team.
In a race which featured little action or opportunity to make progress up the field, the team turned to a bold strategy for both drivers with the aim to get ahead of cars in front. Pierre was able to make a pair of neat overtakes on Valtteri Bottas and Logan Sargeant into Turn 1 during the 51-lap race and, in the end, finished fourteenth on a two-stop Medium-Hard-Hard strategy.
Starting from the Pit Lane, Esteban remained on-track until the penultimate lap of the race, when, for his mandatory pit-stop, he pitted for new Soft tyres for his sole lap on the red compound to finish in fifteenth at the chequered flag.
The team looks ahead to next weekend’s Miami Grand Prix looking for a more positive and representative outing at the Hard Rock Stadium-based circuit.
Esteban started on New Hards (L50 pit-stop for New Softs); Fastest Lap: 1:45.908secs
Pierre started on New Mediums (L5 pit-stop for New Hards, L24 for New Hards); Fastest Lap: 1:45.540secs
Esteban Ocon, started from the Pit Lane, finished P15: “We gave it everything we could today, going for the Hail Mary strategy in the hope for a late Safety Car or incident, but things did not go our way. We can be proud with our efforts, pushing all the way to the end and extracting the most from the Hard tyres. I had a bit of a scary moment at the end of the race when I came into pit and saw people congregating in the Pit Lane even though the race had not ended. Fortunately, nothing happened, but we must make sure these scenarios don’t happen again. We were not where we want to be in terms of performance this weekend. And, after a weekend of learning, we have a chance to review and comeback stronger in Miami. I know we will do just that.”
Pierre Gasly, started P17 finished P14: “This is a weekend all of us are keen to quickly move on from as it’s been a very frustrating one for all of us at the team. We have to make sure this kind of performance is not repeated again. Clearly, it is not where we should be and we need to come back stronger for Miami next week on a more conventional track. In terms of my race, we tried something different on strategy and hoped for some fortune, but in the end, we couldn’t do much more. I made a couple of moves, that’s always satisfying, but it’s much more rewarding when those overtakes are for points. I’m looking forward to racing in Miami next weekend.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal: “It’s been a bitterly disappointing weekend for the team in Baku and we must not repeat this type of performance again. We very much started on the backfoot on Friday and since then we were not able to make any kind of recovery in any of the sessions. We were quite far off on car set-up on Friday during practice and with such limited running – notably with some reliability issues on both cars – we left ourselves with a mountain to climb for the remainder of the weekend. We must limit these problems going forward and begin all Grand Prix weekends on the front-foot to make sure we give ourselves the best possible chance on Saturday and Sunday to score points. We demonstrated our race pace in Australia and we have a better chance to validate our upgrade package in Miami. We must keep working hard as a team, keep up our understanding of how to maximise the most from our package and target a much-improved overall team performance next weekend Stateside.”