Alpine chief makes ‘Mercedes and Ferrari’ claim amid upgrade pledge

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has claimed that the team are closer to Mercedes and Ferrari than they were last season ahead of more upcoming upgrades.

Unfortunately for the French manufacturer, McLaren’s immense British Grand Prix has relegated Alpine to P6 in the constructor standings, although they do have a podium to their name thanks to Esteban Ocon’s Monaco heroics.

Alpine now find themselves engulfed in an intense battle behind Red Bull, with the pace of McLaren, Mercedes, Ferrari and Aston Martin fluctuating week to week.

Even Williams joined the fight at Silverstone two weeks ago, and the upcoming races promise more pace for the Grove-based team.

The pressure is now on for Alpine to fight back with an upgrade package to rival that of McLaren.

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Szafnauer: We’re still in the fight

“Last year, we were not too dissimilar – except for the fact that Aston was all the way behind the rest of us,” Szafnauer explained to F1.com.

“I have to look after this, but we are closer to Mercedes and Ferrari, [and] we maintained our relative difference to Red Bull.

“But Aston [Martin] just jumped us and some others. So, it looks like that.

Esteban Ocon’s Monaco podium remains the highlight of Alpine’s 2023 season

“If I look at the points, we are sixth now, which is not where we want to be. So we need to start scoring points.

“Our upgrades have worked this year, and there is another significant one coming before the break.”

Alpine will look to close the gap to McLaren – which currently stands at 12 points – when they head out on track in Hungary.

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