After scoring seven points in Baku, the Alpine F1 team moved up to fifth place in the World Constructors’ Championship.
Venue this weekend in Montreal, for the return to the schedule of the Canadian Grand Prix. Technical Director Pat Fry outlines the team’s plan of action for tackling the challenging Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
What will be your attention this weekend, for the return of Formula 1 to Montreal?
We return to Montreal this weekend for the first Canadian Grand Prix in three years. An essential stage on the Formula 1 calendar for twenty years, it offers unique challenges as it is a non-permanent hybrid circuit. We can expect the track to be a bit green and dirty in the first free practice session. But, as we’ve seen in the past, this will wear off pretty quickly when filled with gum. We will have the softest tires in the Pirelli range and familiarizing ourselves with the conditions and understanding how the tires work will definitely be high on our programme.
What are the main characteristics of the circuit and the challenges to be met?
Compared to the last race in Baku, the downforce level will be slightly higher. We are going to take the rear wing to the next level and have several wing mounting options to experiment with in order to identify the optimal setup. The nature of the Montreal track pushes you to increase the level of downforce as there are straightaways and a number of corners to negotiate at low to medium speed. Powertrain-wise, Montreal is very similar to Baku. Being generally picky about the brakes, we’ll check this too.
How does the team rate its performance since Baku?
It is definitely a positive that we managed to put both cars in the points in Baku. On the performance side, we ran with a low level of downforce, which showed in our lap times in the third sector and our high top speed. This choice was optimal, both for qualifying and for the race, even if we sacrificed our efficiency in the low-speed corners for the benefit of the two long straights. We didn’t have too many difficulties with the rebound, despite being at the center of discussions in the Baku paddock. The 2022 cars drive pretty low and there will always be a bit of a follow up. So the bumps probably feel more, but that’s not a big deal for us.
What are the next elements of the team development plan?
After upgrading our sidepods in Baku, we will be bringing a specific rear wing package to the Montreal circuit. We will be constantly updating the car in the upcoming races, with more improvements planned for Silverstone and Austria.