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Alpine: What’s Going On In The French Team?

Alpine have had a tough start to the season, but their issues started way before 2024. What is happening to the Estone-based team?

Since the first Grand Prix of 2024 which was in Bahrain, Alpine have had many issues with their current project. The A524 was a failure from the beginning, way too slow and heavy. Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly are currently P17 and P20 in the Championship while the team is last in the Contructors standing.

But the team’s problems started in 2023 when they went from fourth to sixth place in the Constructor Championship. Not only that, last season many key figures left them.

Otmar Szafnauer and Alan Permane, the ex Team Principal and the Sports Director, said their goodbyes. After them, it was the Technical Director Pat Fry’s turn to leave them for Williams. According to Fry, he decided to leave Alpine due to their lack of ambitions and enthusiasm.

However, there are way more troubles for the whole team to face.

When you think it can’t get worse…

The new Team Principal Bruno Famin faces an uphill climb. Things aren’t looking good for the whole French team.

After the flop of the Grand Prix in Bahrain, with Ocon in P17 and Gasly in P18, the weekend in Jeddah was even worse. In Saudi Arabia, Pierre Gasly couldn’t even start the race. During the formation lap, he went on the team radio to notify his team of his broken gearbox. Alpine had to retire the car, and Gasly wasn’t even able to complete lap 1 of the race.

Slightly better was the weekend for Esteban Ocon. The French driver was P13, right outside the points zone, but the downfall compared to last year is undeniable.

At Albert Park in Melbourne, after starting once again from the back of the grid, they were out of the points. Pierre Gasly closed his race in P13 after receiving a 5-second penalty for crossing the pit lane line. His teammate was P16, with everyone below him with a DNF – the two Mercedes and Max Verstappen.

And to add more problems, Matt Harman and Dirk de Beer, the new Technical Director and the Head of Aerodynamics, announced their exit from the team. Alpine have also lost Bob Bell who became Aston Martin’s Technical Director.

What should be done?

These are difficult moments for Alpine. With so many people leaving and the unsuccessful start of the season, a solution is necessary.

Famin, after Bahrain, expressed his concerns and said that, although they expected some issues, it was a shock being last. But he added: “We are aware of the problems. We must remember that we were at the first race of a very long season, with a completely new car and with developments coming. We will work hard to improve the car”.

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But it’s undeniable that the tension is growing, especially for Gasly and Ocon. Every driver wants to win, to score points and podiums, but those things seem far away from them at the moment. The market for the 2025 season is going to be intense, with so many contracts coming to an end. There are many different teams to look out for and many changes are expected. Will Ocon and Gasly start to consider the idea of leaving Alpine too?

In the meantime, many have opinions on the future of the team. One of them is Helmut Marko, Red Bull Sports Manager. He had explained that Andretti should buy the team, so Renault can give up some of its baggage. This would allow Andretti to finally race in Formula 1 and the teams should not be concerned with an 11th team on the grid.

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