Alpine F1 Team had a very mixed weekend last time out in Istanbul with Fernando Alonso securing a P5 start before getting involved in a lap 1 incident causing him to lose ground and eventually finish outside of the points in P16. Teammate Esteban Ocon fared better in the race, taking advantage of a no-stop strategy on intermediate tyres to finish P10, securing a single point for the team.
When asked about the teams thoughts on the Turkish Grand Prix, Budkowski said:
“While we scored one point with Esteban [Ocon], we feel Turkey was a missed opportunity, especially with Fernando [Alonso]. Starting from fifth on the grid and having been competitive throughout the weekend - the closest we've been to the top teams all season - we went into the race confident and hoping for a strong result, but the first lap incident completely ruined that. We need to keep qualifying strongly and hopefully next time we can convert our Saturday performances into bigger points on Sunday.”
Time to 🔓 unlock your [STAT-HUB] insights, powered by @microsoft— Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) October 20, 2021
📍 Austin, Texas
📈 Elevation Change per Race: 1,730.4m
🧗♀️ Gradient at Turn 1: 11%
🥊 G-Force: 4.5G
🤠 Yee: Haw
Find more stats below ⤵️#USGP #STATHUB
With Alpine narrowly leading AlphaTauri in the constructors’ championship by just twelve points, every point counts. Budkowski continued to discuss the battle for fifth, citing the need for consistency from the team from race to race as the end of the season looms.
“It's a tight fight for fifth in the Constructors' Championship since the start of the season, and we have seen pretty big points swings at a few races,” he said.
“We had a decent points advantage going into Turkey, but we knew it was far from comfortable. It has now shrunk and we will need to keep scoring consistently at every race and taking every opportunity for bigger points when it presents itself, while keeping a close eye on our competitors. It will no doubt go to the wire, but we have good momentum and are relishing the challenge!”
Taking flight over the freight. 🦅 pic.twitter.com/jAWFZq47ZE— Circuit of The Americas (@COTA) October 19, 2021
He continued to discuss the upcoming race at the ever popular Circuit of the Americas, drawing attention to the potentially uncomfortable bumps which have affected the track recently.
“It's a popular venue in Formula 1, both for the track and the city. Sector one replicates the Maggotts-Becketts combination at Silverstone, one that the drivers particularly enjoy. However, a few sections of the track are very bumpy, as covered extensively during the recent Moto GP event, which can be uncomfortable for the drivers but also forces some setup compromises. Off track, Austin is a great city with its own very unique vibe. It's one of the favourite destinations on the calendar for many Formula 1 personnel.”
Both Alpine drivers echoed Budkowski’s enthusiasm for the venue, with Esteban Ocon describing it as “a cool mix of different circuits” and Fernando Alonso calling it “one of the more challenging circuits on the calendar with each sector of the lap very different to the next.”