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F1 News: Alpine aim to replicate McLaren resurgence

Alpine once again find themselves in F1 news for changes in senior positions, but team principal Bruno Famin remains optimistic.

Warning signs of Alpine’s weak foundations to start 2024 went off well before the A524 touched the tarmac. The French outfit was insistent in their pre-season launch that their latest challenger was still in its infancy.

Bruno Famin and the team’s now ex-technical director Matt Harman repeated this sentiment.

The objective at Enstone and Viry was to rely on mid-season upgrades to climb the field.

On paper, this rhetoric during the winter break was just that – rhetoric. However, it soon became apparent the team’s pessimism was rooted in some very genuine concerns.

Even before arriving in Bahrain for testing, Alpine F1 raised eyebrows with their tyre selection.

They had selected more hard compound tyres than any other team. Not even a Haas team hyper-focused on race pace went to the same extremities as Famin’s personnel.

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Alpine’s worst fears confirmed

By the conclusion of the three-day tests, it was clear why this decision was taken. Alpine knew the A524 was a car still lacking in performance.

Free Practice in Bahrain confirmed this, with the French machine also suffering from excess weight.

Combined with its weak power unit and poor aerodynamics, this was a recipe for disaster.

Relatively quickly, the team’s F1 news coverage became very negative.

Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly spent the first weekend of the year languishing at the back.

At least for the short term, it is difficult to envision Alpine challenging in the midfield.

Alpine’s troubles are still ongoing, with the team confirming the resignation of technical director Matt Harman and head of aerodynamics Dirk de Beer.

These changes do not bode well for the A524’s potential for growth. It also indicates a lack of faith in their belief that progress is attainable in 2025.

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Famin hopes to emulate McLaren

However, at least outwardly, team principal Bruno Famin tries to project a positive image:

“For sure, we have seen that, “ Famin told motorsport.com about the similar changes made at McLaren.

“It gave us the answer to the question if it may work, and it looks like it’s working.

“I’m not saying it will make everything, of course.

“But we have seen with McLaren that this kind of organisation can give a boost.

“And this is what we’re looking for.”

It seems quite clear that – at least broadly speaking – there is no real expectation that Alpine will replicate McLaren’s 2023 resurgence.

The Enstone-based team have failed to show they are capable of any jump.

Regardless, the above comments are indicative of what the team aspires to – regardless of how attainable it is.

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