Alpine Pre-Season Testing: What we learned from Fernando Alonso’s and Esteban Ocon’s initial A522 run in Barcelona

Check out the complete report of Alpine's first run of their 2022 car.

Alpine F1
Alpine F1

Alpine F1 team is entering its second season in the sport with the same squad as 2021- the experienced and two-time F1 world champion Fernando Alonso and the young and last year Hungary GP winner Esteban Ocon.

The team revealed their A522 on 21 February 2022, two days before the first session of pre-season testing in Barcelona. The team will be looking forward to building on their last season’s performances. But for the fans and the team, the first round of testing didn’t bring a lot of great news as the team couldn’t even test near their maximum potential.

Fernando Alonso’s lap timings and laps completed

Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso

The two-time champion, Fernando Alonso got to test the car first ahead of Esteban Ocon on the first day. After the first day of testing, the driver remarked, “We completed some good mileage, and our reliability has been quite strong for the first day of testing. Mileage and reliability is more important than performance in testing, so overall we’re quite pleased with the first day in our new car,” as quoted by grandprix247.com.

DayLaps completedRankBest Time
112781:21.746
2
312121:21.242

Esteban Ocon’s lap timings and laps completed

Esteban Ocon
Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon got his hands on the car on the second day of testing. The driver said, “Today was my first proper day in the A522, and it’s certainly a great feeling to be back in a Formula 1 car and doing lots of laps. It was good to start to get a feeling for the car on proper tires in accurate testing conditions. The most important target for us today, like yesterday too, was to do lots of running, so to do over 100 laps is encouraging.”

DayLaps completedRankBest Time
1
2125141:22.164
3

Struggles faced by the Alpine F1 team

Alpine's Fernando Alonso's car letting out thick smoke today
Alpine’s Fernando Alonso’s car letting out thick smoke on the final day of testing

The Alpine team struggled a bit with the pace and couldn’t get anywhere near the top of the timesheets. One of the reasons for this is no use of DRS and full fuel tanks. Due to this, the team couldn’t test the car’s potential and will have to wait until the testing in Bahrain. Also, the team couldn’t run DRS, due to some non-serious concerns, said the team.

While on the first two days the team did put in 127 and 125 laps respectively, they could only manage to put in 11 laps on the third day. The team suffered a major setback when Alonso’s car caught fire due to an issue with the hydraulics. Due to this incident, the test for the team came to an early end.

Positives for Alpine to take away from Barcelona

Alpine in action in Barcelona
Alpine in action in Barcelona

Although the testing didn’t end the way the team would’ve hoped for, they have plenty of positives to take away. Firstly, the car would be a bit faster or should be faster by seven-tenths of a second. It will definitely move the team up on the timesheet in Bahrain. The team also had solid mileage on day 1 and overall the engine has performed really well.

Moreover, the team ran the tests with more fuel than they should’ve. Lesser fuel should also help the team with more pace in Bahrain and hopefully bring their best. Both the drivers liked the car and are hopeful for it.

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