Alpine has given approval for a new simulator, and is embarking on a recruitment drive of senior aerodynamicists, as part of its attempts to move up the Formula 1 grid.

Alpine has so far fallen short of its pre-season ambition of building on the fourth place it achieved in 2022 and received criticism from CEO Laurent Rossi at the Miami Grand Prix.

The squad is slightly over a year into its own 100-race timetable in which it aspires to contend for the world championship.

Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer explained that Alpine’s current simulator is between 15 and 20 years old, and upgrading such infrastructure is vital to move up the grid.

“There are bigger teams out there that have better simulation tools,” said Szafnauer.

“Sometimes those simulation tools are good enough to get us close, then we start off and we’re good, other times not so, so we’ll start off slower and get feedback from the drivers, adjust, and then we make bigger steps.

“If you have perfect simulation tools, or close to it, then you start the weekend pretty close to your local optimum, and we’re working on that.”

The new simulator is expected to be ready in time for the 2025 season and Alpine has also recruited a head of simulation as part of the process.

Alpine is also striving to recruit “seven or eight” senior aerodynamicists in order to expand that department from 38 to 45 personnel.

Szafnauer also emphasised the importance of strong in-season development for Alpine with its A523.

“The bigger challenge is developing, especially aerodynamically in the season, a car performance at a higher rate than our competitors, because they don’t stop,” he said.

“So we have to have a development trajectory that’s higher than Mercedes, that’s higher than Ferrari, that’s higher than Aston, to be able to catch up, and that’s the hard thing.

“The good news is, because we’re marginally behind them, is we can also look towards them to see what gains have they made, and then you can try to shortcut that progress.”

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