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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

F1: The engine driving Fernando Alonso crazy: Why doesn’t the base of the Alpine project work?

Doubts at the Viry factory, where the design of the RE 22 began three years ago, are now mixed with pressing deadlines, as all development must be frozen on 1 September.

Alonso fell from the ‘pit-lane’ in Jeddah on Sunday.AFP

Friday night, Fernando Alonso And Lewis Hamilton He was not in favor of proceeding to Jeddah and informed the rest of the pilots during their morning meeting. However, both had to succumb to the decision – by F1 and the FIA ​​- to play a race that ended up leaving both in a position that, a month earlier, had none at Alpine and Mercedes. If the seven-time champion has made his worst start since 2009, the Spaniard also needs an immediate solution in the Renault engine, several steps behind Ferrari and Honda.

There will be no rest from today at the Renault factory Viry-Châtillon, 30 kilometers south of Paris, where every detail of the pieces that exploded on Sunday’s Corniche circuit will be scrutinized. Also the ones that failed under the hood of the A522 in Bahrain. Alonso was disappointed twice in just eight days. bruno famineFor just over a month the chief of Viri doesn’t have a second to lose.

To deal with such situations, he was hired by the powerful CEO, laurent rossi, determined to swiftly move away from the limelight so that others can play the lead role. For example, Rossi, a businessman with Google experience, did not travel to Saudi Arabia this week, where Otmar Szafnauer had to lead. However, before returning home, the French left a message that, in light of the facts, turned out to be very enthusiastic.

From 2019, project base

“Maybe our engine will not reach Ferrari’s level, but we are definitely in a race with Mercedes and Honda. Our power unit is lighter and narrower than the competition and this allows us to take better advantage of the spaces “, Rossi analyzed during an interview auto motor and sport, ‘Also, we can use more electrical energy for a longer period of time,’ he said. Hours later, the image of Alonso hitting the visor of his helmet spread around the world.

Indeed, problems with the RE22 have been plaguing Alpine since the Barcelona Test. After a few days when they did not force their performance, the engine said enough when, presumably, they opted for a more powerful and aggressive specification. This was a serious blow to the team that decided to build their new project on the basis of the engine.

“We started in 2019 and at first we worked with the power unit, because it establishes some key areas at the aerodynamic level. We decided to change the structure and position of the engine in the car,” he said a few days ago. fessed up Matt Harman, technical director. Another risky bet was the split turbo, in imitation of Mercedes’ original idea. remy taffinsA highly respected figure in Viri and Alonso’s former track engineer, with whom he won his two world championships.

sense of eternity

Anyway, Rossi didn’t hold his pulse last August and set the taffin on fire and incidentally sparked another crisis at a Paris factory. The same in which five titles won with Williams and four with Red Bull are proudly remembered. the same in which the three giants like Cyril Dumont, Stephen Rodriguez And Francois Champod He had to take over temporarily until a new helmsman was confirmed.

Success with Peugeot at the Dakar Rally and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as his close liaison with the FIA ​​microcosm, where he had served as director of operations until recently, opened the doors for Viry to Famine . There they were briefly remodeling the headquarters, hiring engineers and repeating at any time of day, that the relaxed atmosphere led to their start of the Hybrid Era (2014), which will not be repeated.

Alonso’s A522 is pushed by the stewards in Jeddah.

There and now, the situation looks dire for a famine, which will only have until September 1 to correct the mess. Since that day, the development of F1 engines has stalled until 2026. That is, no one will be able to implement a solution to improve performance. Only innovations involving reliability will be allowed. So there’s no doubt now: though it took Honda six years – between a disastrous start with McLaren and the title Max Verstappen Can’t afford another skid with Red Bull-Renault.

For his part, Alonso will await the news this week from his home in the Swiss city of Lugano. Unlike other occasions, Oviedo’s man has decided not to move to the Enstone factory on the outskirts of Oxford. In such situations, it is better to continue working remotely.

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Reference from www.elmundo.es

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