Improve the development potential of the segment
In order to successfully close this gap with top teams, it will be necessary to continue to invest and fix certain gaps in development, as the person involved points out:
“One of the main things I did when I arrived was look at how long it took us to make changes to the track”comments Szafnauer, who adds that this “took a long time”and “more than elsewhere”.
“We have a small group that has been looking at doing things differently, at the same time, getting things out of the way a little earlier, starting the engineering work earlier – even if it means doing it again sometimes, because things change, but. often this is not the case.” explains Szafnauer, who spent a long time with Force India, which became Racing Point and then Aston Martin.
“One of the main things was being able to bring the floor in about half the time. It’s probably the floor that contributes the most to reducing power. I believe we had four different versions of the floor, and five copies of each had to be brought in. It’s a big piece, it takes a long time find a way out of the wind tunnel. »
“If we can get them in quick, we can make four changes instead of three, or even four instead of two, and that’s better. So that’s something we did well, in my opinion. And I think thanks to that, we’ve seen the car go from there where we started.”
“I think others have come a long way in simulation tools, and we need to adapt to some of them so that we can make better decisions and make them faster through simulation, without taking the time to do this. »
Still 78 races to achieve the manufacturer’s title
While the budget cap continues, Szafnauer intends to hire new engineers to keep up “improve, again and again”still with the intention of fighting for the title in 2025.
“As of today, we have a project to employ about 80 people, tools that we need to buy – some we need to create, some we need to buy – and buildings that need to be built. It is already underway. And if we do, we will not stop there. We will improve again and again. We have a continuous plan to improve. »
“We have to take steps towards the championship, that’s what we wanted to do in the 100 races. This 100 races started at the beginning of the season [dernière], so it’s less than 80. We need to do the same, but be closer to third place. We need to be closer to third than fifth. Even if we remain in fourth place, we must move forward”, concludes Szafnauer. Alpine is therefore aiming for the title in 2025 but the other teams do not stop developing and trying to move forward.