You will read tomorrow in our newspaper what triple winner Sébastien Buemi thinks of the Balance of Performances: “She’s unhealthy and unsportsmanlike but thanks to that we have a race.”
Will the 24 Hours before Le Mans have been more decisive for victory than the double turn of the clock itself? We are entitled to think so, as there have been many lobbying and negotiations during this armed vigil.
On Thursday, the ACO decided to give more power to the Alpine, which had been lamenting a deficit of 9 km/h in a straight line since last weekend. Suddenly, when it was relegated to two and a half seconds in free practice, the false Hypercar, already victorious in the 12H of Sebring, joined in the fight for pole before finally failing to four tenths. We were delighted for the interest of the fight in the lead to see the Alpine again inserted between the Toyotas and the Glickenhaus. But it was not to the taste of the latter who come with real Hypercars and do not want to see an old LMP1 come and give them a hard time.
Basically, Alpine was accepted in this configuration for “make the number”complete a very weak grid while waiting for the return of all the manufacturers in 2023. But there is no question that it will take the opportunity to win on Sunday.
Suddenly, after analyzing the Hyperpole data and probably under pressure from Toyota finding the performance of the Alpine “incoherent” According to Toyota Motorsport boss Pascal Vasselon, the Alpine’s BOP has again been revised downwards. Worse, while it gained 11 MJ between Wednesday and Thursday, it lost 32 after the hyperpole, in the end a decrease of 21 MJ compared to the desperate situation in which Philippe Sinault’s team seemed to find itself on Wednesday. . Who’s kidding who? The power level also decreases at different engine speeds, with losses of 6 to 10 kW between 5,000 and 8,500 rpm. What should we deduce from this? That Alpine tried to hide its game a little too much and was punished? That the French brand worries a little too much Toyota, the only manufacturer supporting the ACO for a few years? We have a bit of both…
In any case, we have the impression that we are making fun of the public and that the victory of the 24 Hours is largely played out behind the scenes, which is very regrettable. If the Alpine is one lap after six hours on a regular basis, you’ll know why. Because there, we have the impression that we swung the performance of Alpine 24 hours from the start.
In GTE-Pro, as we suspected, performance has been revised upwards for Ferrari, hiding its game and therefore not in the game since the start of the week. Hard hard in these conditions to still do his job as a journalist and to analyze everyone’s chances and performances.