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Formula 1

Alpine’s Barcelona F1 test prematurely ends with fiery halt

by Josh Suttill
2 min read

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Fernando Alonso’s Alpine came to a smoky halt less than an hour into the final day of the first 2022 Formula 1 pre-season test at Barcelona, prematurely ending the team’s test.

Alonso completed 146 laps on Thursday aboard the A522 but on Friday he had a troubled first hour of running.

Within minutes of leaving the garage, Alonso had a trip through the gravel trap before briefly jumping to the top of the timesheets.

Motor Racing Formula One Testing Test One Day 3 Barcelona, Spain

But his morning was cut short when Alpine told Alonso to pull his car off the circuit “after the car lost pressure in the final sector”.

The Barcelona marshals used fire extinguishers on his car in response to a fire at the back of the car.

Alpine confirmed just before the lunchbreak that it wouldn’t return to the track following Alonso’s stoppage.

Esteban Ocon, who drove the car on Wednesday, was scheduled to take over from Alonso for the afternoon session.

Before stopping, Alonso had completed 14 laps with a best time of a 1m21.242s on the C3 tyres – Alpine’s fastest time of the test so far.

Alonso did this without the use of DRS, something Alpine has had to avoid using due to a yet-to-be resolved problem.

Motor Racing Formula One Testing Test One Day 3 Barcelona, Spain

2022 is a crucial year for both Alpine and Alonso in F1. This is the seventh year since Renault returned as a works team and with it still not reaching the front of the field, the team has undergone a major restructuring with the likes of Marcin Budkowski and Alain Prost exiting and the arrival of ex-Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer.

There’s also been a radical overhaul on the engine side. Renault has opted for a far more aggressive design than in recent years, including a switch to the split turbo concept for this season, pioneered by Mercedes in 2014 and adopted by Honda in 2017.

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It’s also moved towards a more compact packaging and gains are hoped to be found in the ERS and V6 itself.

For Alonso, it’s the second year of his F1 comeback and Alpine’s performance level in 2022 will undoubtedly have an impact on whether or not the two-time world champion remains beyond this year.

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