Alpine left frustrated after a ‘frantic and difficult’ Azerbaijan GP as the team’s horrendous luck in Baku continues

Alpine Sporting Director Alan Parmane admitted that the team never had such terrible a weekend like the Azerbaijan GP 2023.


Alpine left frustrated after a ‘frantic and difficult’ Azerbaijan GP as the team’s horrendous luck in Baku continues

The Alpine F1 team hoped for an easy weekend at the Azerbaijan GP this season as the team brought a new floor update. Unfortunately, things started off terribly with Pierre Gasly‘s engine catching fire during Free Practice. It all went further downhill for the French outfit after Gasly crashed out within a few hours of the engine swap. Moreover, Esteban Ocon almost ran over photographers at the end of a rather unsuccessful race after starting from the pitlane.

Subsequently, the Renault works team simply could not comprehend the scale of problems in a single weekend. Alpine Sporting Director Alan Permane believed this race to be the worst in a long time. He stated, “I can’t compare this weekend to any other. Honestly, it’s been so frantic and fraught and difficult. It doesn’t feel like any other weekend.”

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Parmane mentioned how the French team was on the back foot from the start with both Esteban Ocon and Gasly facing issues on Friday. Alan explained, “You need to start off well prepared, and just have a smooth weekend. We had that with neither car in FP1. And it snowballed out of control from there.”

The Alpine Sporting Director acknowledged how the engineers have had one of the most tiring weekends in their careers. The engineers worked overtime to fix Pierre Gasly‘s engine for Qualifying. Parmane said,“They’ve worked so hard this weekend. They’ve had a hell of a job with Pierre’s engine change. And that has knock-on effects that you guys [the media] don’t see.”

Lastly, Alan hoped that his team could overcome the fatigue as the F1 paddock heads straightaway to Miami. He said, “The next thing they have got is a grueling 14-hour flight to Miami, and some of them will be straight into work Tuesday morning. How you recover from it, it’s not easy, especially going straight into another race. But we’ll make the best of it.” It seems like the French squad will need a lot of motivation to bounce back quickly and be ready for the Miami GP.

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The Renault Works team has had a streak of bad luck at the Azerbaijan GP

Esteban Ocon entering a crowded pitlane at the Azerbaijan GP
Esteban Ocon entering a crowded pitlane at the 2023 Azerbaijan GP

Alpine may have not expected such a terrible Grand Prix coming into the weekend. However, it seems that the streets of Baku are not fond of the French outfit. During the inaugural race in Azerbaijan in 2016, then referred to as the European GP, both Renault cars qualified on the last row of the grid. Things got worse the following season as both cars missed out on points after a double DNF for the Enstone-based team.

The only saving grace for Alpine in the streets of Baku was Carlos Sainz‘s P5 finish in 2018. The disaster carried on in 2019 as the team missed out on points once again. It seems that the French team simply loses out on luck in this transcontinental country. Although, the team had scored points in 2021 and 2022, 2023 once again proved to follow the team’s traditional bad luck at the track.

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Thus, Alpine certainly seems to have a history with the Baku Street Circuit. The French team seems to find it rather difficult to get things right at the Azerbaijan GP ever since it took the inaugural race. Otmar Szaufnauer will be looking to turn the team’s prospects at this track in the future. But for now, all focus of Team Enstone is on the next round in Miami.

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