Alpine CEO slates team’s ‘unacceptable’ and ‘amateurish’ early season performances
Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi was not holding back in his criticism of the team’s early season form, saying they were showing “amateurishness” in Bahrain and it wasn’t any better in Baku.
Alpine began the new season with a P20 in qualifying for Pierre Gasly but it was Esteban Ocon’s triple penalty that earned the CEO’s ire with Ocon penalised for being out of position on the grid, then for Alpine working on his car as he took the penalty only for the Frenchman to be hit a third time, this time for speeding in the pit lane as he came in to serve his previous penalty.
Alpine eventually retired his car, although it must be noted that Gasly put in an impressive drive to recover from P20 to ninth.
Two races later in Australia the team-mates crashed in a late-race restart when, as chaos ensued, Gasly flew off the track and returned to the racing line only to smash into Ocon.
It didn’t get any better in Baku with the former AlphaTauri driver’s A523 on fire in practice with his mechanics hard work to repair the car undone as the driver crashed in Friday evening’s qualifying.
Ocon, who had qualified P12, was sent to the pit lane for the both the sprint race and the grand prix after Alpine made the call to change his car’s set-up under parc ferme conditions. Neither driver scored a single point in either the sprint or the grand prix, P14 and 15 in the latter with Gasly ahead of his compatriot.
Having scored just eight points in four races, Rossi vented his disappointment to Canal+ in the build-up to the Miami Grand Prix.
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The updated Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship standings
“It’s disappointing, it’s actually bad,” he said. “This year ended up starting with a flawed performance and flawed delivery.
“It’s obvious our position in the standings is not worthy of the resources we spend, and we are quite far – in fact very far – from this year’s end goal.
“I’m noting not only an obvious lack of performance and rigour in the delivery, but also potentially a state of mind that is not up to this team’s past standards.”
He added: “I did not like the first grand prix, because there was a lot of – I’m sorry for saying this – amateurishness, which led to a result that wasn’t right. It was mediocre, bad.
“And the last race in Baku was tremendously similar to the one in Bahrain. That is not acceptable.”
Although Rossi concedes mistakes happen, he fears Alpine aren’t learning from their errors.
“You’re allowed to make mistakes,” he said, “it’s a basic principle, you learn from your mistakes.
“But you do [need to] learn, and when you make the same mistakes twice, it means you haven’t learnt and you’re not taking responsibility.
“That is not acceptable.”
Alpine bounced back from their back-to-back point-less races with a double in Miami where Gasly finished P8 with Ocon ninth. The team is sixth in the championship with 14 points.
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