Nyck de Vries was uneasy about AlphaTauri’s genuine pace following a pair of challenging Friday practice sessions for Sunday’s 2023 British Grand Prix.
After a miserable start to 2023, AlphaTauri brought eight upgrades to Silverstone, including a new rear wing, diffuser and floor body for De Vries and teammate Yuki Tsunoda.
But neither driver enjoyed a sudden surge in pace, with De Vries managing 11th in FP1 before falling to 19th in FP2 after his running was cut short early due to a puncture.
“Pretty difficult,” said De Vries when asked to sum up his day. “Obviously, at this point, we haven’t been able to debrief and analyse what we did.
“We felt decent in FP1, but FP2 looked much more difficult. We ended the session with a puncture.
“We’re not the only one who brought some upgrades, so we’ll find out [if they’ve worked] when everyone puts everything together for qualifying.”
Eddolls more upbeat on AlphaTauri’s update package
AlphaTauri isn’t the only team to bring upgrades to Silverstone, with fellow midfield runners Haas bringing a new beam wing and front suspension, whilst Alfa Romeo brought a new rear suspension and diffuser.
Both teams had contrasting fortunes, with Haas moving up from 19th and 20th in FP1 for Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg to 7th and 17th in FP2.
Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu struggled for pace remaining outside of the top 10 in both sessions.
“We brought a new aero package to this event consisting of floor, bodywork, rear wing and rear brake duct,” said AlphaTauri’s chief race engineer Jonathan Eddolls.
“To help us gather the best data possible, we conducted various setup tests across the two cars using the medium and soft tyre compounds in FP1. The degradation was higher than expected.
“Analysis showed that the update is working well, but it’s fair to say we didn’t hit the sweet spot with either car in terms of balance on the soft tyre short runs.”