Alpine has revealed that they had a problem with the wind tunnel during the winter break, which is now hindering its performance on track so far.
In Bahrain, the French re-branded team did not score any point and lacked pace compared to the main rivals. The team brought some upgrades in Imola with the hope to close the gap with the teams in front. However, Marcin Budkowski said that a problem back at the factory is the cause of the poor performance by Alpine.
“Going into the test, we knew we experienced some headwind during the winter with some of the regulation changes, but also we had a few issues in the wind tunnel that slowed us in terms of development.
“We knew we didn’t have the best possible winter. And, therefore, we were expecting to be on the back foot in terms of pace.
“Testing kind of confirmed that. We did make progress during the test with a few things we tested, they were an improvement, but we were on the back foot.”
Alpine was also surprised to see what teams were its main rivals in Bahrain because they expected a different pecking order.
“Interestingly, we ended up pretty much where we thought we would end up,” Budkowski said. “But we got a wrong one on some of the cars that were in front of us and some of the cars that ended up behind us.
“But I don’t think that we were the only ones because talking to a few team management members from other teams, it seems that quite a few people saw the order to be a little bit different to what we saw at the race. But that’s just a matter of order in terms of competitiveness, if you want, compared to the front.”
Budkowski also said that the new upgrade that has been brought to Imola had already been planned, and now the team is trying to bring more developments, and new parts to be more competitive.
“We’re pushing hard to try to improve our performance, and that is clear from the number of upgrades we are bringing here,” he said.
“We are further behind than we’d like to be, so it’s going to take a bit more than a few upgrades. And then I don’t expect everybody else is waiting for us to bring upgrades, so everybody is going to improve their cars.
“It’s a relative race. It looks like the car is going to progress this weekend with the upgrades we’re bringing, but we’ve got more work to do in the next few races to bring a bit more.”