Alpine have stocked up on spare parts ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix Sprint race weekend, according to team boss Otmar Szafnauer. F1 is currently on a four-week gap between Melbourne and Baku, after the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix. Confirmation that the race would not be replaced came prior to the season, and now Alpine are using the extra time to produce spare parts ahead of the first Sprint weekend of 2023. “Well, the break wasn’t planned but it is a welcome break from both getting ample car parts, spares as well as when we do bring developments,” said Szafnauer. “You know there’s a huge effort to make enough of those parts to ensure that you can really push hard – so that definitely helps.” The team suffered a double blow at the end of the Australian GP, when Pierre Gasly collided with teammate Esteban Ocon, resulting in significant damage to both cars. Szafnauer: Early break enables teams to plan upgrades The Baku Sprint weekend has already drawn criticism from Team Principals, including Christian Horner and Guenther Steiner . Szafnauer says it will provide more “jeopardy” for the teams, given the nature of the high-speed circuit. “It does seem that Baku always produces interesting racing and yes, there is more jeopardy because it’s a street race and some of the walls are pretty close,” he said. The Alpine Team Principal added that the break also enables the team to plan further upgrades, after the they came into the season with ambitions to do more aggressive updates to achieve podiums . He added: “Also the break allows you to plan further upgrades that you find through your simulation tools, and knowing that the break is there, you plan them a bit differently – but it definitely helps.”

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