The start of the season has not been easy for anybody at BWT Alpine F1 Team, even if we were not expecting a good start.


We were very cautious during the car launch. However, being on the last row in Bahrain was still a shock. Since then we have seen good things, we have seen a good reaction from the team, pushing for upgrades, pushing for reducing the weight on the car towards the minimum limit.



And we have been able to make it earlier than originally planned, thanks to everybody at the factory. The positive thing is that the Shanghai upgrades worked. Not major upgrades, but at least what we have seen on track was in line with our simulations.



We made some changes to the technical structure. For the first time we have three technical directors for aero, engineering and performance, in order to have something much less vertical, to be able to work much more in parallel, talking to each other.



The second step was David Sanchez arriving, which is not contradictory with the first step, because everybody knew that there was room for someone with right experience and skillset to lead the technical teams.



His availability was a real opportunity for us. We acted quickly and we look forward to collaborating together.
David is very performance and aero oriented. He has worked at regular podium and winning teams in a performance role and, before that, gained experience in aero. He has built his own skills, and those skills of performance and aero represent a very good addition to the team.



He brings fresh eyes to be able to make an evaluation of where we are, what are the good points that we have, and what are the weak points that we need to work on, and reinforce as quickly as possible.

We still have a lot to improve, otherwise we wouldn't be where we are. We have a lot to improve in our processes, and in the way we use our tools. And we know we need to improve some of those tools. We have some good things coming, including the new simulator at Enstone at the end of the year.



As I said I'm very happy with the reaction of the team after the very difficult start of the season. I haven't seen anybody down, really. Again, one of the good points is how the team kept pushing, convinced that we couldn't stay there, and that we had to fight. That is not our position, it's not where we should be.


Esteban and Pierre have been a very great support, always positive, always pushing the team to do more, to do better. It's really something I, along with everyone at the team, appreciates from both of them.



Nobody can be happy with scoring one point, of course. But I'm happy with the momentum we are building all together in Enstone, always with support from Viry, working together more and more on improving the energy management, and improving the whole package.



And there's a lot of room for improvement, and simple improvement. We have four or five teams in the first part of the grid that are very far away this year, to be honest. That leading pack will harvest the majority of the points. But sixth is not too far away. And that's why it's very important to be able to score points every time that it's possible.


Some of our competitors have done well but with few points you can make a big difference in terms of final ranking at the end of the year. That's why everybody understands that we need to fight for every single point, and this is what we're going to do. It’s clear, this is not the overriding objective for the team, we intend to be competing much higher up the grid.



We knew it was going to be difficult at Imola. We have quite a different car from the others, low and stiff, and the track is very bumpy.



The surprise was to be better than expected in Qualifying, with both cars in Q2. In the race, quite simply, we lacked pace. And with that very early in the race you get blue flags, and you lose additional time.
We attempted an alternative strategy with Pierre, starting on softs, in case something happened. With the gravel all around the track, maybe a safety car would be needed, and we'd have a free stop, but nothing happened.


Then we were stuck behind, lacking pace, not able to overtake the cars in front, and it was difficult to defend with the cars behind. A long, long race, but we still have some learnings, and a positive point, like in Miami, was the very good pit stops. Three stops all around 2.5seconds goes to show our vast improvement in that area. We have worked hard on this during the winter and at the race track itself and I’m pleased this is paying off.



With David arriving at Imola with his new eyes I think we have a good opportunity to really analyse how the car was, and to make sure we can progress.



Monaco will be very atypical. We need special circumstances, like last year. In fact, the two podiums we had last year were in special circumstances, Monaco and Zandvoort, half rainy conditions. If we can have this again, it will help, it might change our outcome. But, the reality is, we must develop a quicker race car. We will push for the best of course, but being where we are, we will set humble expectations..