Pierre Gasly has called for unity at Alpine, following a challenging series of races for the team after a double-DNF at the 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix.
Neither car made it to Lap 5 at the Hungaroring as Zhou Guanyu caused a multi-car incident that forced Esteban Ocon into colliding with Gasly at Turn 1 on the opening lap.
This double-retirement came on the back of a similar outcome at the British GP and was their third of the 2023 F1 season, after both Alpines crashed into each other following a late safety car at the Australian GP.
Partially because of these results, McLaren has leap-frogged the Enstone team and sit a comfortable 40 points ahead in the constructor standings, after being 27 in front at the conclusion of the Canadian GP – just three races ago.
“As a team, it is important to stick together, keep our heads down and continue to work hard for better results,” Gasly said to the media.
“This weekend [Belgium] we will have an update and hopefully everything will go according to plan and bring the car the performance improvement we need.”
Ocon has echoed Gasly‘s words as the French pair sense the need to lift the team, that had previously been criticised by Alpine‘s upper management earlier in 2023.
“There was not much Pierre or I could do [about the crash],” Ocon said. “We have no choice but to move on and focus on this weekend, where we hope to recover quickly.
“Given the Sprint format this weekend, we have a chance to take points on both Saturday and Sunday, so we will do everything we can to maximise our opportunities.”
Szafnauer on Alpine’s 100 race plan
Meanwhile, Alpine‘s team principal is drawing faith from the time he has left to make the French team competitive.
Otmar Szafnauer reminded media that the team is only in the early stages of their plans to win races and fight for championships, and that there is plenty of time to start winning.
“The project was the Alpine project, with the 100-race plan,” Szafnauer said the media. “I think we are 30 something races into that.
“So we still have some 60 races to go, and that is another three years to start winning.”
Whilst being put under pressure by the previous Alpine CEO, Laurent Rossi, Szafnauer has faith in the integrity of the CEO of the Renault Group, which owns the racing team.
“It takes time, it has taken everybody time,” Szafnauer added. “I know Luca [de Meo] is a man of his word and he gave me his word on 100 races to start winning.”
Where is the next F1 2023 race?
With the F1 circus finished in Budapest, we move on to the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix which will be held at Spa-Francorchamps over the weekend of July 28-30.