Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Alpine recovery uncertain in race against time

Alpine F1 begins the 2024 season with huge weaknesses.

Alpine has undoubtedly started this year on the defensive. The A524 suffers from several limitations and – at least so far – does not excel in any particular area. Despite finishing 4th in 2022 (ahead of McLaren and Aston Martin), their final two campaigns under these regulations could be very painful.

Although body language is far from a definitive way to analyse team performance, Alpine F1’s verbal and nonverbal communication was difficult to ignore.

Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly spent much of their pre-season managing expectations, which was very much in line with senior management.

Speaking of senior personnel, it was former Technical Director Matt Harman who emphasised the A524’s potential for development.

According to the British engineer, the team’s focus over winter was building a platform they could improve across 2024.

Embed from Getty Images

Senior departures spark bigger concerns

However, Harman’s resignation was confirmed only weeks later. Evidently, this does not bode well for Alpine’s actual and potential performance in 2024.

Moreover, there is very limited time for Team Enstone to correct their misjudgement.

Even without the budget cap, Alpine’s spending on Formula 1 has never been comparable to that of other big manufacturers, such as Ferrari and Mercedes.

Therefore, with a firm spending limit in place, it does not seem plausible that Bruno Famin’s team can overcome their existing deficit.

Alpine’s position seems especially precarious given that – over the last twelve months – they have actually regressed. This is not just in terms of relative performance but also in absolute terms.

The A524 has been slower than the A523 in the first race weekends of the season. Unsurprisingly, this puts Ocon and Gasly firmly at the back of the field.

Whilst sometimes one step backwards is necessary to take many steps forward, there is no evidence suggesting Alpine will make a substantial leap.

Embed from Getty Images

Clear Warnings for 2025

After all, by the time next season begins, attention will be increasingly diverted to the new 2026 regulations.

As a result, any shortcomings over the winter break and throughout this year are likely to continue into next season. This paints a very bleak picture for the Renault-backed team’s prospects in the foreseeable future.

Mid-season upgrades are not anticipated any time soon – since Alpine are still learning about their largely new platform.

Even when they do arrive, the A524 will have to develop at a greater rate than rivals who are already several steps ahead.

Several years of mismanagement are catching up to Alpine in an unequivocal fashion. Time will tell to what extent they can mitigate their Formula 1 downturn.


More Posts

Send Us A Message