Alpine ‘bitter’ about ‘collateral damage’ in F1 flexi-wing saga

Alpine has admitted that it feels ‘bitter’ about becoming ‘collateral damage’ in the flexi-wing battle between the Red Bull and Mercedes Formula 1 teams.

Alpine ‘bitter’ about ‘collateral damage’ in F1 flexi-wing saga
Listen to this article

After Mercedes drew attention to the behaviour of Red Bull’s bendy rear wings at the Spanish Grand Prix, the FIA moved quickly to clampdown on any tricks teams were playing by imposing stricter pull back tests.

But the toughening up of the tests forced a number of other teams – including Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Alpine - to make changes to their rear wings to ensure they were legal too.

Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski has made clear how frustrated his team was at the extra cost and work the change prompted, during a season when his outfit is already juggling preparations for the all-new cars in 2022.

“We’re still untangling some rear wing modifications from the famous technical directive, which to be honest we feel a bit bitter about,” explained Budkowski at the Austrian GP.

“It’s taking us a huge amount of resource in effort and money, because we’re talking about several rear wings, several downforce levels, that need to be changed.

“We feel a bit like the collateral damage of the guys fighting for the championship at the front, and trying to throw banana skins under each other’s feet, if you want, by looking for issues with other people’s cars.”

Alpine’s frustration is based on the fact that the rear wing it used in the early phase of the season had been designed to comply fully with the previous tests – so it felt it unfair that the test requirements suddenly changed.

“We designed our wings to the regulations,” added Budkowski. “They were fully legal. We passed all the FIA tests, all the homologation pre-season and during all the events so far.

"We’re spending now huge amounts of resources and money to change rear wings to new tests that were introduced in season, that effectively change very little performance of our car.

“It’s costing us money and resource we could invest in next year’s car. We understand the FIA is allowed to change these tests any time they want to in the regulations, but the impact on a team of our size is very big.”

shares
comments
Austrian GP: Verstappen fastest in FP3 by over half a second
Previous article

Austrian GP: Verstappen fastest in FP3 by over half a second

Next article

How the cost cap is putting new pressures on F1's top teams

How the cost cap is putting new pressures on F1's top teams
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Prime

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2022
What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022