However, the initial sideways step to a new design means Alpine could well appear at the season start in Bahrain behind of where it wants to be, a scenario which both drivers have been briefed about.
“It is a possible scenario,” Ocon replied when asked by Motorsport.com if Alpine is braced for a difficult start.
Photo by: Alpine
“We have a new concept, the car is totally new, and when you do that you normally take a step back. I don’t say that this is the case, because we haven’t put the car down yet. But the plan is to improve it through the year and get more progress, the more that we go through the laps.
“It’s going to be crucial to get a good feedback straight away, to know where we have to improve, to see if the concept choices that we took are the right ones. It’s not necessarily that crucial where we start, but it’s going to be where we are mid-season.”
Gasly similarly cautioned that he and Ocon might have to remain “a little bit patient” while the Enstone outfit is unlocking more performance out of its car, which it felt was no longer possible with the 2023 concept.
“As Matt said, the only thing that remains from last year is the steering wheel. So when you start from a blank piece of paper, from scratch basically, there’s always more risk,” Gasly explained.
“But then, you’ve got to take risk at some point if you want to get bigger rewards, so that’s the strategy we decided to go for.
“We didn’t try the car yet, we’ve got to wait for Bahrain and get a first feel with it. But we know there is potential to unlock, we just might need to be a little bit patient.”
Pierre Gasly, Esteban Ocon, Alpine
Photo by: Alpine