The 2022 F1 season presented very little in terms of the fight for the championship.
Red Bull displayed its superiority and Mercedes was so woeful in the early part of the season due to its porpoising troubles that even the fight for second place only became of interest in the last few weeks.
In such a situation, it was the midfield and back-end of the leaderboard that began to drive greater interest, with plenty of interesting stories unfolding.
Alpine and McLaren were involved in perhaps one of the most exciting midfield battles in recent years.
With the top-3 teams relatively tied up, it was mainly between Alpine and McLaren to take a spot just outside the podium in the constructors’ standings.
Alpine’s Fernando Alonso and McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo were both suffering forgettable years. It may have ended well for Alonso, who fashioned a move to Aston Martin at the end, but Ricciardo eventually lost a full-time seat for the first time in his decade-long career.
In such a situation, the onus was on Lando Norris and Esteban Ocon to get maximum points for their respective team.
Why did Alonso have so many reliability problems?
While Ricciardo was consistently being outperformed by Norris, Alonso was mainly suffering from his car’s reliability problems.
He showed his skill on many occasions, but his car just kept struggling to cross the finish line.
Alpine is powered by Renault, and the French company explained why Alonso was experiencing problems so consistently throughout the season.
Renault’s engine chief Bruno Famin explained that the problem was not due to the design of the car, rather the auxiliaries.
“We have not got a really major issue on the engine itself, on the ICE,” Famin said.
“We had problems with Alonso in Singapore, which is a fact. It was very strange, in fact, because to have two different problems in eight laps difference was quite incredible, but we had it.
“All the other problems we had were much more on the auxiliaries side; water pump, fuel pump. And this is something we are quite optimistic that we will be able to solve for ’23.”
Ramin believes that things will be different for Alpine in 2023 as the issues have been duly addressed.
He accepted that the core concept of the water pump was the problem in the car.
Such an error can easily be fixed during the season break, with the opportunity of testing out a completely new concept in the Renault power unit.
This could lead to an even more interesting battle next season, with Oscar Piastri entering with plenty of touted talent and Norris only getting better with every experience.