Alpine F1 Team opened its 2021 season today with the A521’s maiden outing at Silverstone Circuit on a 100km-limited filming day.
Race driver Esteban Ocon was at the wheel for the first time in the 2021 challenger, which featured its striking, new, blue livery, unveiled yesterday at the official team launch.
The A521, powered by this year’s Renault E-Tech 20B power unit, is an evolution of last year’s R.S.20 with the core structure of the package a continuation from 2020. The team has worked hard over the winter months to adapt to the FIA imposed aerodynamic rule changes, in particular, with development work at the rear of the car.
The car exited the garage and headed out on track minutes after 09:00am local time for an installation lap.
With a short delay, due to low-lying morning fog in Northamptonshire, Esteban pushed on, completing 16 laps of the full 5.891km Grand Prix circuit as he continues to bed himself into new team colours.
Discussing his first impressions of the A521, Esteban commented: “It was really good fun today. First of all, it was nice to get in the car again at a track like Silverstone as that’s always something special. The car felt nice to drive for the first time and we managed to get through our programme as planned. There was a bit of a delay this morning with the fog, but once that cleared, the track was dry and that made the running very enjoyable. I wish I could drive for more than 100km, but that’s the limit, and I leave here with a smile on my face. We want to take that into Bahrain next week when conditions will be more representative with the race tyres and some heat. All in all, it was a very interesting day and I can’t wait to discover more about the car. I have to say, I love the new colours. It’s the best-looking car on the grid!”
The team’s preparations for the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season continue with testing in Bahrain beginning next week – 12, 13, 14 March – when Fernando Alonso will join Esteban to enjoy his first taste of the A521.