The last few months have been turbulent for Alpine, with CEO Laurent Rossi and team principal Otmar Szafnauer being removed from their positions. Luca de Meo’s recent statements – describing Alpine as a potential “French version of Ferrari” will almost certainly put the team back in F1 news headlines.
After a reasonable start to the new F1 regulations in 2022, the French outfit has taken a step backwards with the A523
Aston Martin significantly out-developed them over winter, whilst McLaren catapulted from the midfield to the front after a series of substantial upgrades starting in Austria.
A discrepancy soon formed at Enstone regarding the timeline for Alpine to achieve F1 success – previously defined as competing for consistent race victories.
Szafnauer insisted on sticking to the well-established ‘100-race plan’, whilst other senior personnel in the team seemed to develop a different opinion.
Simply put, the success of other teams – especially given they were both customers – has rendered the five-year plan at Enstone outdated.
There are fewer excuses for lacklustre development than in previous seasons, as evidenced by the volatile performance of teams since 2022 – at least excluding Red Bull.
Alpine’s ambitions appear to have accelerated, as evidenced by the recent comments from Luca de Meo – CEO of the Renault Group:
“Alpine Formula 1 team will become the French Ferrari. In France, there still isn’t enough passion for the world of motorsport,” gpblog quotes him as saying.
“This is because the fans don’t have a team to support, as Italy has with Ferrari.
“Our objective is for the Alpine colours to be associated with passion…
“We want to combine the history of our team with its colours so that fans can be more engaged.”
The French outfit has every ingredient to take a forward step, although penetrating the top teams has proven near impossible for the team over the last seven years.
If Alpine is to reach its objectives in Formula 1, it must find some much-needed stability to change the pessimistic rhetoric being echoed across F1 news outlets.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang