In traditional Formula 1 procedure, the “Fly-away” races at the beginning of the season are a case of race what you got but the first round of major upgrades usually comes when the team get back to Europe.
That seems to have a slightly different flavor this year with the cost cap restrictions which make any development an expensive proposition. The first race back on European soil is this weekend in Italy at Ferrari’s home race at Imola. Surely that means, off the back of a big win in Australia, the Scuderia would be bringing new upgrades, right?
Not so fast. This race weekend features one of three Sprint Races and due to the limited running on Friday, Ferrari have chosen to delay any upgrades until they have a normal race weekend.
According to Adam Cooper over at Motorsport, this isn’t the case for Alpine as they are going to follow traditional process and bring some big upgrades to Italy. Team boss Otmar Szafnauer said:
“We’re going to bring some upgrades to Imola, that’s for sure,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone brings upgrade to Imola, it seems in my 25 years of doing this, for whatever reason, the first European races are where everyone plans their upgrade.
“It used to be Barcelona, now it’s Imola. But it’s the fourth race as well. So around the fourth/fifth race, everyone brings upgrades, so we too will be bringing some. It’s all aero.”
They will focus on the floor of the car as Otmar says that’s the biggest area of difference. He also ays that like Australia, Alpine should be better at many of the remaining tracks and that’s a good thing because you have to wonder how long Fernando Alonso may want to continue at the team if they aren’t making progress.
It’s also a good thing as this team is a full works team and should be clawing at the podium, not just the top 10. I could certainly see Fernando staying gin F1 into his 40’s but not if the car he is given struggles to get int eh top 10. To be honest, same rules apply for Sebastian Vettel over at Aston Martin.