Fry: “Support for the funds? An assist for the rivals”

The return to ground-effect single-seaters caused many headaches during the first Formula 1 tests. Most of the cars, in fact, were affected by porpoising, ie a rebound effect on the straights.

The problem was amplified at high speeds due to the decline in funds. Many teams, including Mercedes, have fitted supports to reinforce the edges of the car’s floor and this concession was also guaranteed on race weekends.

Pat Fry wanted to have his say on this topic. Alpine’s technical manager talked about the bottom of the A522 stating that he had made a deliberately solid floor so as not to flex, even if this choice created an increase in weight compared to the competition.

According to Fry, however, the decision of the Federation to authorize the teams to use the supports connected between the belly and the bottom of the car in the race penalized those who, like the Alpine, followed a technical trend marked by greater solidity rather than in search of lightness and flexibility.

“I wouldn’t say we were smart and designed the car to avoid porpoising,” Fy told a specific question posed by Motorsport.com.

“We designed our car for maximum performance, but accepted that it would be slightly heavier than the competition. We have adopted a more rigid floor, but when the possibility of mounting the supports to the bottom was given it was a bit frustrating ”.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, Esteban Ocon, Alpine A522, Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

“We didn’t use it because our floor is quite stiff, but I think this decision has helped other teams considerably.”

“It’s all part of the game, and we’ll have to consider this concession for the next update.”

Alpine is expected to bring a package of developments to the Emilia Romagna GP and Fry admitted that the advantage of having a stable fund will allow the team to focus on weight reduction and performance gains.

“We need to work on both of these in a reasonable way. We will have some updates coming in the next two or three races, but these will be the children of our studies and not of the ideas of others seen on the track ”.

“Obviously, more important developments will come later, resulting from the other solutions present on the other single-seaters. We want to try to regain as much weight as possible. We are not much further, but we would like to reduce by a couple of kilos ”.

Finally, Fry admitted that all teams will have to find the right balance between the search for the lightest possible components and the reliability of the same.

“It’s a good challenge. We are trying to make the various parts more rigid to prevent them from being damaged when passing on the curbs. Let’s say it’s some kind of battle. Normally at the beginning of the season you find yourself with an overweight car weighing 5 kg and you go in search of reliability. Now, with these cars, we are much more vulnerable from this point of view ”.

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