Otmar Szafnauer, Alpine’s Team Principal, is hoping to deliver another strong performance at the upcoming 2023 Spanish Grand Prix, following Esteban Ocon’s podium finish in Monaco.
The under-pressure French Formula 1 outfit, surprised everyone with their strong performance in Monaco last weekend, with Esteban Ocon mingling with the top three teams in Qualifying – qualified fourth and started the race third following Charles Leclerc’s penalty – and finishing the unpredictable dry/wet race in Sunday in third place.
Alpine’s Monaco performance came at the best time possible, after CEO Laurent Rossi publicly criticized the team over the F1 weekend in Miami, for their poor performances so far in 2023 insisting their would be consequences, while pointing the finger at Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer.
The Enstone squad’s strong showing in Monaco does not guarantee a repeat in Barcelona, as the streets of the principality might have flattered the A523 and its torque-y Renault power unit, while the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya would be the real test of how good the Blue and Pink cars, and their recent updates, are.
Alpine’s upgrades are working
Szafnauer, in Alpine‘s race preview, vowed to keep pushing for strong results, while simultaneously insisting on managing the expectations.
He said: “We can all take great satisfaction in this result [Monaco] and it just demonstrates what we are capable of achieving.
“We’ve brought upgrades to the car in recent weeks, which are working very well, and we should have further validation of those updates in Spain this weekend on a more conventional Grand Prix circuit than the last two events in Miami and Monaco.
“We are all working very hard to repeat this type of performance but we will also remain realistic,” Szafnauer added. “We must keep developing the car, continue to execute clean race weekends and ensure the drivers continue to perform to a high level.
“Our immediate focus is on preparing for the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix and aiming for another good performance,” the Alpine F1 boss concluded.
Ocon reflected on his Monaco podium, he said: “It’s been a very good past few days. To be on the podium at the iconic Monaco Grand Prix is a dream for any driver I would say, so it’s really great to now say that we’ve done that.
“It’s now starting to really sink in and the whole weekend was testament of the team’s hard work, both at the track and at Enstone and Viry, and belief that a result like this was possible,” the Frenchman added. “We will keep our heads down as we know there is a long way to go and we have some ambitious targets that we still want to achieve.
“And of course, there is not much time to rest and reflect as our focus quickly shifts to the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend,” the three-time podium sitter concluded.