Alpine vs. Alpha Tauri – Duel for fifth place
Who has the best car?
The battle for fifth place in the World Championship between Alpine and Alpha Tauri will be decided in the final races. Both team leaders think they have a better car. However, in the end, drivers will likely make the difference.
It’s about seven million US dollars in F1 bonus pots. Of course, it is also about prestige. Accordingly, the struggle for fifth place between Alpine and Alpha Tauri is fierce. The French currently have the advantage. After 17 races, the two teams are separated by only 10 points. Alpine collected more than a third of its points in winning in Hungary. Alpha Tauri distributed his points more evenly.
Alpine Managing Director Laurent Rossi explains why fifth place is so important: “We finished fifth last year and want to continue our development. The team has done well throughout the year and scored a streak of points over 15 races. If we could finish fifth despite the car difficult, that would be a great reward.”
The points streak smashed past in Austin. The blue race cars were by surprise by the bumps of Texas. A new series will now start in Mexico. Fernando Alonso’s 10th place in free practice indicates that something that can count can work again. The Spaniard led his fastest lap on the third attempt. This suggests that there may be more to it.
Alpha Tauri’s third power in Mexico
It is doubtful whether it will be enough to beat Alpha Tauri in the end. Pierre Gasly drove three tenths faster and appears to be able to challenge Ferrari. Honda’s supercharged turbo engine assists in the thin mountain air. “I think there’s more performance in the car,” Gasly said optimistically. Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s consultant, said he was hopeful the rehab specialist would bother the Mercedes’ car washers.
The problem with Alpha Tauri is the misuse of opportunities. It has often been the case that good starting positions cannot be converted into world championship points accordingly. Sometimes strategy errors are to blame, and sometimes reliability isn’t right. Like last time in Austin, when Gasly was eliminated with a suspension issue. “We are a young team. Mistakes can happen,” said team boss Franz Tost, explaining the meager return.
The youngest member of the team is Yuki Tsunoda. The Japanese rookie contributed only 20 points out of 94 to the tournament. Not much will be added in Mexico either. Engineers installed a new drive unit in the car with a starting number of 22, which exceeded the permissible limit. Tsunoda will start the race on Sunday from the last row.
Engine penalty for a wrong race?
Nevertheless, Tost was satisfied with his young son’s development: “Yuki is getting better. He has a lot of meetings with engineers at Faenza and now also understands the technical side better. That’s the work you have to do with a non-veteran.” Recently, the youngest driver in the field had the help of Alexander Albon. “He answers everything Yuki wants to know,” said Tost. “These are conversations between the drivers that are very important to him. He can glean a lot of knowledge there.”
In Mexico, Tsunoda got well on the spot. In the end, Gasly was only twenty times lower than the standard. That was enough for eighth place. If the engine penalty wasn’t better in Brazil: “Personally, I would have found it better if we had done it in Sao Paulo. But the engineers think it makes more sense here,” Tost said. Now we have to catch the race: “Yuki knows how to overtake and I’m very optimistic he can still collect some points.”
As for the battle for fifth place, Tost is also optimistic: “I’m sure we can still catch up with Albin because I think we have the fastest car. We also have two great drivers. Of course I’d prefer it if we want to go ahead now and not 10 points behind. It will definitely be a battle.” exciting until the end of the season.”
Laurent Rossi disagrees: “I think we have the fastest car. But it will definitely be a nice dance before the final. Usually we only fight for the small points. Usually the other teams are in the top eight. And that will be a tough fight in the remaining races.”
“Tv expert. Hardcore creator. Extreme music fan. Lifelong twitter geek. Certified travel enthusiast. Baconaholic. Pop culture nerd. Reader. Freelance student.”