Marcin Budkowski reveals that Alpine uses the 2019 specification engine with some updates from 2020 and 2021.
The power unit is a vital part of an F1 car and teams try to be on time with all the updates and have the newest engines. However, the Alpine executive director Budkowski has confirmed that the team uses the power unit that has been designed in 2019 and has explained such a decision.
“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,” he said.
“It’s the same engine we are using for the third consecutive year with very small changes in 2020 and 2021, but it’s [the] 2019 engine we are using. As a result, some of our competitors made gains that we haven’t. It’s the same chassis and same gearbox as well, so the mechanical phase of the car has been the same for three years now.
“The choice was driven by the fact that we were planning to introduce [an] all-new engine in 2021, together with the new chassis regulations.
“The chassis regulations have been delayed, [so] we also delayed the introduction of the new engine to 2022 because unfortunately, with the factory closures and the working from home requirements we had last year, we were just unable to deliver it for 2021.”
Budkowski also supposes that the decision to wait for 2022 is good.
“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 [the car] quicker on a straight line,” he added.
“[It] 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 program 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.”