Alpine explains why it has burned through F1 exhaust allocation

The Alpine Formula 1 team remains confident it can manage its remaining engine exhausts in order to avoid grid penalties in 2021, despite having used more than its rivals.

Alpine explains why it has burned through F1 exhaust allocation
Listen to this article

Teams are allowed to use eight exhausts during the season before they face grid penalties, and Alpine has already gone through seven for Esteban Ocon and five for teammate Fernando Alonso.

No other team has used more than four in the first 11 grands prix of the planned 23-race season.

Alpine's executive director Marcin Budkowski has explained that the team was forced to use more exhausts than expected at the start of the year because of reliability worries, but says the problem has now been solved.

He concedes, however, that the situation has left the team "exposed" for the remainder of the year.

"We had an issue at the beginning of the year which meant that we limited the mileage of our exhausts to avoid failure during the race," said Budkowski after the Hungarian GP won by Ocon.

"And so we have introduced a few exhausts at the beginning of the year to contain the risk. We believe we solved this issue now with a spec of exhaust we introduced during the season.

"What we're doing now is really managing the pool. We have a number of exhausts per car for the season, we just need to manage it. And effectively you manage them between practice sessions, qualifying, race, by having a bit more resources in your pool you can use them in the most efficient way for the rest of the season.

"So touch wood, we don't expect to take penalties this season. But obviously, as we've used a few more than we would have liked to at the beginning of the season, then we are exposed."  

Read Also:

Alpine is the only team using Renault engines this year after McLaren switched to Mercedes power, and Budkowski admits some of its rivals have managed to make improvements that the French manufacturer has been unable to make as a result of using an engine design from 2019.

Renault will introduce an all-new engine for 2022 after having been forced to delay the planned introduction this year because of problems related to the pandemic.

While Budkowski backs the decision, he concedes it has inevitably led to losing ground to rival engines this season.

Asked by Motorsport.com to rate where the Renault engine stacks up compared to its rivals' power units, Budkowski said: "I'm not gonna answer this one directly. We have a competitive analysis. And we have a fairly good idea of where we stack in terms of power, but also in terms of energy management, weight and packaging and things like this.

"But it's a 2019 engine we are using. As a result some of our competitors made gains that we haven't.

"So we're in a slightly non-ideal situation where we had to delay our new power unit, which has beyond improvements to propulsive power and energy management, the kind of usual things that make quicker on a straight line has also a new architecture and changes that are designed to address some of our weaknesses compared to our competitors.

"But we didn't have the resources to relaunch the development programme on this year's engine and continue to work on the 2022 engines. So we've decided to put all our efforts on 2022. So it's a strategic decision.

"I believe it's the right one but it's painful, because as a result this year we lost ground compared to our competitors."

Alpine sits fifth in the constructors' championship after its victory in Hungary, but nearly 100 points behind fourth-placed McLaren.

shares
comments

Related video

Newey: Politicking against Red Bull at level never seen before in F1
Previous article

Newey: Politicking against Red Bull at level never seen before in F1

Next article

Sainz: 2021 “doesn't feel like my strongest season in F1”

Sainz: 2021 “doesn't feel like my strongest season in F1”
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Prime

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge Prime

Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge

Faced with drivers complaining about the long-term health effects of car ‘bouncing’, the FIA stepped in to deal with it. JAKE BOXALL-LEGGE explains how the so-called ‘Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric’ works, and asks if it is fit for purpose?

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2022
Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers Prime

Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers

As Sebastian Vettel’s Formula 1 career draws to a close, figuring out where he fits into the greatest of all time order is a tough and subjective call. With the aid of statistics, attributes and history, here’s how the four-time world champion stacks up in the debate

Formula 1
Nov 19, 2022
The omen Ferrari hopes to continue by ending its Abu Dhabi jinx Prime

The omen Ferrari hopes to continue by ending its Abu Dhabi jinx

It’s been an unlucky 13 for Ferrari in Abu Dhabi since the first Formula 1 race was held there in 2009. But if the Scuderia can finally win at the Yas Marina Circuit in 2022, then BEN EDWARDS feels this could bode well for even greater success in 2023

Formula 1
Nov 17, 2022