Alpine has 'lots to reflect on' after botched US GP

Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski says the French outfit just couldn't catch a break in Austin where the... The post Alpine has 'lots to reflect on' after botched US GP appeared first on F1i.com.

Alpine has 'lots to reflect on' after botched US GP

Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski says the French outfit just couldn't catch a break in Austin where the team concluded its consecutive 15-race run in the points.

Both Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon were sidelined in the 56-lap event, with the latter suffering an opening lap contact with Alfa's Antonio Giovinazzi before retiring later in the afternoon when the team identified a rear-end issue.

"It was a difficult day for all of us in the team," said Ocon. "We were lacking a bit of a pace but our race was also compromised after the touch on the first lap.

"It was not an easy one, but we’ll come back stronger in the next one."

Alonso did his best, as usual, to try and snatch a top-ten finish and while the Spaniard was on the fringe of the points at one point, a rear wing issue forced upon Alpine a second retirement.

For Budkowski, the Enstone squad's trip to Texas ended with a bad case of Murphy's law.

"Pretty much everything that could go wrong did go wrong during this weekend," he said.

"Esteban started in eleventh position on the mediums and scoring a few points seemed a very achievable target.

"Unfortunately, he was hit by Giovinazzi in the first lap and suffered front wing damage, which forced us to stop to change it.

"From that point onwards his race was heavily compromised. There was not much to fight for, and as we suspected a problem on the car we decided to retire him as a precaution.

  • Read also: F1i's Driver Ratings for the 2021 US Grand Prix

"Fernando drove a brave race starting from the back and we tried everything to sneak into the top 10, pushing very hard and taking risks, and trying a different strategy to build a tyre advantage towards the end.

"As we were closing in rapidly on the cars in front, we had a rear wing issue that robbed us of an exciting finish."

Alpine remains fifth in the Constructors' standings but a quasi-insurmountable distance – or 146.5 points – from Ferrari.

"We have lots to reflect and improve on after this weekend and we will be working hard ahead of the next batch of races," concluded Budkowski.

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Brundle admits Austin grid walk fame gives him 'a chuckle'

Sky F1's Martin Brundle is taking a typical humorous approach to the sudden fame bestowed upon him in... The post Brundle admits Austin grid walk fame gives him 'a chuckle' appeared first on F1i.com.

Brundle admits Austin grid walk fame gives him 'a chuckle'

Sky F1's Martin Brundle is taking a typical humorous approach to the sudden fame bestowed upon him in the US in the wake of a grid walk gone viral in Austin.

The former F1 driver delivered to Sky Sports viewers his first grid walk in two years following the restrictions imposed previously by the global pandemic.

But last Sunday's preamble, while entertaining, offered a few awkward moments as Brundle attempted in vain to get a few words from several uncommunicative celebrity guests that made Kimi Raikkonen sound like an effusive raconteur.

On Monday, to suggest that those stars, and especially their uncourteous entourage,  indulging in F1's pre-race walk of fame "learn some manners and respect our patch".

Brundle revisited the episode in his post-race column for Sky Sports.

  • Read also: Brundle tells F1 celebrity guests to 'learn some manners'

"I did chuckle on Monday," he wrote.

"After all the blood, sweat, tears and broken bones, the glorious victories and dismal failures, the monstrous crashes, the quadruple stints on a treacherous rainy night in Le Mans, guiding a 1250bhp flying bedstead through Monaco qualifying, along with 25 years of broadcasting, I’ve finally become mildly well-known for being ignored by celebrities whilst simultaneously being swatted to one side by a man mountain and told off by a Malfoy lookalike doubtless attending his first F1 race.

"My gridwalk return after two years was probably a bit too cheeky in Austin but nonetheless a lot of fun.

"Actually, my real claim to fame is that I once played snooker with Mark Knopfler, and what a lovely bloke he was too."

Focusing his attention on the essentials, Brundle reckons that last weekend's round of racing in Texas might have been the turning point of the 2021 season.

"I have no doubt that Sunday's USA GP will be considered a significant pivot point when eventually looking back at this year's outstanding world championship," commented Brundle.

"A great duel between two brilliant drivers at the top of their game, it was effectively a 14-point swing for whoever won between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

"And what a cliffhanger of a race it turned out to be, the only thing missing was some wheel-to-wheel action in the last couple of laps.

"There are five races to go in six weekends and we expect Lewis may have to take another internal combustion engine which will attract a five-place grid drop," added the Briton.

"The next two are at altitude, which tends to favour the Honda unit turbo architecture in the back of the Red Bull, but let’s wait and see.

"After that we have two new tracks in Qatar and a very high-speed Saudi Arabia layout which may well suit the Mercedes.

"The final round is in Abu Dhabi, a well-known venue of course and dominated by Red Bull last year, but the track has changed and is expected to be 10 seconds per lap faster."

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