Jul.15 (GMM) Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi says he wants “two drivers” rather than one to be regularly scoring points for the Renault-owned Formula 1 team.
The comments come amid 40-year-old Fernando Alonso’s expiring contract, and the mercurial Spaniard’s increasing complaints about his “strange” recent run of reliability problems.
“Esteban (Ocon)’s car is always good,” he said after Austria, scene of yet another problem – this time with his electronic control unit.
Team boss Otmar Szafnauer, who along with Rossi is reportedly considering replacing Alonso with reigning Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri for 2023, told AS newspaper: “It wasn’t an Alpine problem.”
He denied that Alonso is becoming increasingly frustrated with his situation in 2022.
“He has been happy with the car in several grands prix,” Szafnauer insisted. “The car has pace.
“It’s not that we are failing Fernando – there are several reasons why he hasn’t been scoring points.”
When asked about two-time champion Alonso more generally, Szafnauer explained: “It’s my first year working with Fernando and from what I see he still loves to compete.
“In life, you are happy when you are above your expectations. If your expectations are realistic, you will end up happy. That goes not only for Fernando but all of us.
“But Fernando is still there,” he insisted.
As for Alpine CEO Rossi, he was asked by France’s Auto Hebdo if he prefers a spectacular qualifier like Alonso or a more reliable points-scorer in the form of Esteban Ocon, who is already signed up for next year.
“The F1 fan loves the former, while the team boss tends to prefer the latter,” he laughed.
“What I want is for two drivers to bring home points in a regular and similar way.
Lately, we’ve had a little trouble getting them into the points together and even when it was the case, there was often one of them ejected because of penalties.
“It’s been quite frustrating,” Rossi added.