Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon hoping for another step forward at Miami Grand Prix

MIAMI — Alpine’s 2024 Formula 1 season has not gotten off to the ideal start.

But at the Chinese Grand Prix the team showed signs of life. Alpine brought an upgraded floor to Shanghai for Esteban Ocon’s A524, and both Ocon and Pierre Gasly advanced to Q2, the first time that both Alpine drivers moved out of Q1 this season.

Now here in Miami, the team is bringing that new floor to Gasly’s A524, and both drivers think they can take another step forward this weekend.

“Yeah, it delivered what we expected it will deliver. A step in the right direction,” said Gasly to the media, including SB Nation, on Thursday. “There is obviously still a lot to deliver to catch the pack ahead of us.

“We feel like it put us in a situation to race a little bit more where on the first four races, it just felt like we were on the back foot. So it gave us this extra chance to be in the battle, but obviously, we still need to find a lot of performance.”

For Ocon, who raced in China with the upgraded A524, he outlined how the car was better in terms of its weight — which was a problem for the team coming out of pre-season testing — and therefore delivered improved performance.

“I think it was clearly better with the weight. We clearly gained good performance. Obviously, it was a small step towards the right direction,” described Ocon. “That is very clear, but we know it’s not quite enough yet.

“We are able to fight with other cars a bit more closely, but we are still lacking a decent amount of performance in qualifying. And that’s still the place that we need to be to be working on and focusing on with the overall performance of the car. But, you know, slowly, it seems like we are able to fight harder with the other cars and to be closer with them, but we need to make more effort in the future.”

Gasly outlined how, while the team might have gotten off to a rocky start with the A524, what matters now is how much they can learn about the car each week, and how quickly they can turn things around. And while lap times might not always show it at the moment, progress is being made at Alpine.

“It does happen that some years you get it right, and some years you just get it wrong,” said Gasly. “And I think the most important thing is how we are able to react from it.

“So I’m aware that it does take some time, [we] can’t expect like a massive change in a very short space of time, but I feel like we’ve got enough data now to really spot what’s working and what’s not,” added Gasly. “And at the end of the day, I’m aware it’s going to take time, but it’s important we do react and not stay with what we got at the minute, which is not competitive enough because the last time is easy to measure.

“I do think the team is improving in many different areas.”

Gasly will get his first lap times in the upgraded A524 on Friday, during qualifying for the F1 Sprint Race at the Miami Grand Prix.

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