Alpine has put its new A424 hypercar through a further two days of testing in Spain during which it covered a distance of over 1,500 km. The team focused on understanding and fine-tuning the car’s systems and adjusting its aerodynamics in a series of short and long runs. Drivers Nicolas Lapierre and Matthieu Vaxiviere gave their impressions and provided precious data and feedback to the engineers.
Long runs in the shape of double stints gave the team an opportunity to test the endurance of the Michelin tyres that will be used in the FIA World Endurance Championship next season. Shorter runs were devoted to adjusting the aerodynamic balance, weight distribution and operation of the hybrid system. The crews also made the most of the two-day period to begin fine-tuning the mechanical setup.
An endurance test and homologation to come
Bruno Famin, VP, Alpine Motorsports: The work of the various teams involved in this A424 project continues to progress, and a genuine osmosis is developing between the different actors involved, which is really pleasing. It's been an intense two days. All the shakedown stages are now behind us and we've got down to the nitty-gritty at Aragon, with the fine-tuning of the car's different systems and the aero work. Things are moving in the right direction, but we're only at the beginning of the process, and there's still a tremendous amount to do in all areas. We're focusing on the upcoming phases, specifically the first endurance test and preparations for homologation.
Philippe Sinault, Alpine Endurance Team Principal: The tests went well. The positives from the tests at Circuit Paul Ricard were confirmed at Motorland and the car continued to display a healthy behaviour. It was a pivotal stage in the programme because, after completing the shakedown tasks, we started to get all the car's elements to work together: the hybrid system, engine and chassis. Matthieu and Nico put in a series of stints over more than 1,500 km, sometimes even double stints, with no reliability issues, so it was quite satisfying and constructive. During this stage, we could really begin our operating role, with a particular emphasis on understanding the car and getting the right setups. The smooth running of the team was palpable on the human side, which genuinely encouraged discussions ahead of the big challenge ahead. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but we're on the right track.
A further period of tuning work is slated for 17–19 October in Jerez, followed by an endurance test mid-November with a view to homologation further down the line. Before that, the A424 will return to base in Viry-Châtillon where engineers will continue honing the so-called garage phases – including fire-up – and analyse the electrical and electronic elements.