Esteban Ocon to get Alpine’s fast-tracked F1 floor upgrade first

Alpine have brought forward the introduction of a floor upgrade - but only have one to use in China.

Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team A524. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4, Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, Japan, Qualifying
Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team A524. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4…

Esteban Ocon will be the first driver to receive Alpine's fast-tracked upgrade at this weekend’s F1 Chinese Grand Prix.

Alpine have brought forward the introduction of a new floor design but will only have one available in Shanghai, and have decided to give it to Ocon.

Ocon and teammate Pierre Gasly have yet to score points amid Alpine’s disastrous start to the 2024 season, but the former has held the upper hand over his compatriot across the opening four races.

Alpine are anchored to the very bottom of the constructors’ championship but hope their latest upgrade, which was originally scheduled for the Miami Grand Prix in May, will boost their recovery bid.

“The last race in Japan underlined how big a challenge we have on our hands to improve our performance level,” Alpine team principal Bruno Famin said.

“We must develop the performance of the car in order to fight for higher positions. The level must be raised across all areas so we can get ourselves out of this difficult moment.

“While it was good to bring the first updates to the car in Suzuka, we must do more. The team has been working extremely hard and we have been able to bring an upgrade to one car this weekend, one race earlier than planned.”

Ocon has out-qualified Gasly at each of the four races so far this season and has reached Q2 twice, while Gasly is yet to advance from Q1.

“The race in Japan was a tough one for the team. The car seemed more competitive in Qualifying, where we again managed to advance to Q2,” Ocon said.

“However, that was only a small consolation given how the race eventually panned out.  Ultimately, we lacked the pace to compete and, even without the performance loss, it would not have drastically changed the outcome of the race.

“The upgrades we brought to Suzuka were in line with our expectations, and I know the team is working extremely hard back at base to bring more performance to the car in the coming races.”

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