Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Alpine Formula 1 CEO reveals plans to fix huge internal problems

Pierre Gasly & Esteban Ocon for Alpine at the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix, 2023

Alpine CEO Luca de Meo has outlined a clear plan to address significant problems within his Formula 1 team.

The French outfit began the latest regulation changes in reasonable fashion last year, establishing themselves as “best of the rest”. Despite reliability presenting itself as a clear weakness, Alpine had a strong foundation to build upon for 2023.

However, the team’s aspirations to fight at the front failed to materialize over the winter break. From day one in pre-season, the A523 proved to be relatively uncompetitive. Despite the quiet confidence shown by Otmar Szafnauer in interviews, there were few signs that Alpine would be world-beaters in Bahrain.

Pierre Gasly’s P9 finish, whilst a strong recovery from qualifying, validated this early consensus. Still, later events in Australia and Miami provided some optimism that Team Enstone could pull itself up the field. Under certain conditions, the French team was capable of giving the likes of Aston Martin something to worry about.

Although a fantastic weekend in Monaco provided further encouragement, the A523 has shown little promise since then. Whilst the car is relatively compliant in terms of handling, it lacks the performance to compete for major honors. Ocon and Gasly have both managed exceptional podiums in 2023 – but these have been anomalous results.

Embed from Getty Images

No more “five-year plans”

Furthermore, the mid-season development at McLaren has served as a magnifying glass for the lack of progress at Enstone and Viry. However, despite the reality of Alpine’s situation, it was only eighteen months ago that CEO Laurent Rossi outlined the team’s “five-year plan”.

The team’s high-ranking personnel all seemed convinced that this timeline was appropriate. Therefore, Alpine’s pace this year shouldn’t have triggered any significant alarm within the squad – at least in theory.

As the first races were completed, however, internal frustrations soon began to surface. Laurent Rossi began the 2023 campaign with a series of criticisms towards the team. The Frenchman listed a variety of grievances, seemingly dissatisfied with the team’s progress.

In response, albeit via interactions with the media, team principal Otmar Szafnauer made clear that success in F1 cannot be rushed. Evidently, there were internal disagreements.


Not too long after this exchange, during the Belgian GP weekend, the dismissal of Szafnauer and Permane was announced. Whilst there were clear elements of confusion and uncertainty, one thing soon became clear… The widely discussed “five-year plan” was no longer viable.

Luca de Meo and the other senior personnel at Alpine have set goals for more immediate success in Formula 1. In a speech given at Enstone (broadcasted to the factory in Viry), De Meo outlined a series of changes.

Internal Divisions

A range of topics were discussed by the Renault CEO, which have been discussed by both L’Équipe and motorsport-total. De Meo made clear that old ways of thinking will no longer be tolerated.

Embed from Getty Images

Alpine will work towards a fresh approach and increased collaboration. Previously, there have been instances of clear division between the English and French departments in the team.

An example of this tension takes place at race weekends – when the team’s English and French personnel have been known to book separate hotels. At a constructor that manufactures its own engines, this lack of chemistry is detrimental.

Alpine has received plenty of criticism for the unreliability of their engines – especially during the 2022 season. In addition to reliability, the French power unit produces less horsepower than Mercedes, Honda or Ferrari.

However, it is no secret that Alpine has deficiencies in various areas. Excuses are also becoming increasingly difficult to accept in modern Formula 1. As proven by Aston Martin and McLaren, internal cohesion and innovation will be rewarded on track.

Alpine will benefit almost instantly (at least optically) from less noise. The scrutiny surrounding the outfit has impacted their F1 performance negatively. With that said, Bruno Famin and his technical team must work efficiently to bridge the gap to the front.


More Posts

Send Us A Message