Alpine CEO launches a scathing attack

The origins of the Alpine team are truly from F1 royal lineage. The team was founded in 1981 as Toleman and launched the Grand Prix career of one of the sport’s most iconic drivers, Ayrton Senna.

In his first season Senna famously came close to beating Alain Prost in a rain soaked Monaco race. In controversial circumstances the race was red flagged as Senna closed in on Prost.



Toleman denied historic F1 win

The conspiracy theory has it that Jacky Ickx, then clerk of the course, was sponsored by Porsche in sportscar racing and it was a Porsche in the back of the McLaren being driven by Alain Prost.

Whilst Coleman were denied what would have been a David and Goliath style victory, the team was soon to be acquired by the Benetton knitwear company and rebranded Benetton Formula.

Benetton went onto win back to back championships with Michael Schumacher before being bought by Renault who similarly won titles with Fernando Alonso in 2005/6.

Renault quit and the team was the Lotus F1 Team from 2012-15 until Renault reacquired the Enstone based outfit and it has been under their ownership ever since.



Alpine targets for 2023 modest

Renault excelled when they ran inF1 as an engine partner only with Red Bull Racing, winning four consecutive double championships from 2010-2013.

Yet since then as Renault the power unit manufacturer and works F1 team, the French owned outfit has never achieved its potential despite significant resources being invested.

Having beaten McLaren to fourth place last season in the constructors’ championship team boss Otmar Szafnauer set what he believed were achievable targets for 2023.

“We’ve got to improve, we’ve got to, as we said, not scrape by in fourth but be solidly there and be closer to third. For us to be able to do that we’ve gotta develop at a higher rate than any other team, and that’s not easy to do. But it’s the goal that we set ourselves.”

Mercedes BRUTAL self assessment



Alpine failing spectacularly

Certain F1 commentators were scathing over Szafnauer’s apparent lack of ambition by setting being “closer to third” as the total of this year’s aspirations.

Of course Aston Martin have come out of the winter with a revolutionised car and are currently clearing up behind Red Bull Racing.

Even so Alpine have not just slipped a spot behind their mid field rivals from last season but are in fact languishing along with the back of the grid teams with just 8 points from 4 race weekends.

To make matters worse their arch rivals McLaren, who stole from under their nose protege Oscar Piastri, had a bumper haul of points during the Australian GP.



Team wasted resources

Alpine suffered the ignominy of their drivers taking each other to in Melbourne and failed to score again next time out in Baku.

Laurent Rossi who is CEO of Alpine automobiles and the Alpine F1 team has launched an attack on the team’s “frame of mind” and failure to perform this year.

“We have started with a performance deficit, on one hand, and also an execution deficit,” Rossi told French broadcaster Canal+

“That’s a lot – and it shows.

“Because we are in a position that is not at all worthy of the resources invested, and we are far – very far – from the final objective of the year.”

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“poor frame of mind”

Alpine will find it almost impossible to achieve this years goal of being fourth and “closer to third” than they were last season simply because there are four teams way ahead of them both in the points and performance capability.

“What I see is, there’s certainly a lack of performance, as I say, a lack of rigour in the execution, but also potentially a frame of mind that is not at the level of what had been accomplished by this same team in the past,” Rossi continues.



CEO calls operation “amateurish”

The season kicked off badly for Alpine in Bahrain with Gasley going out in qualifying 1 and Ocon being penalised three ties in the race.

“I didn’t like the first grand prix because there was a lot of – I’m sorry to say this – but amateurishness… that led to a result that was not the right one, that was mediocre, bad,” said Rossi

“Then, the last race in Baku looked an awful lot like the one in Bahrain.

“And that is not acceptable.

Mercedes Jekel and hyde W14



Baku upgrades failed miserably

Alpine in Baku brought a range of upgrades, but suffered multiple mechanical issues and other self inflicted woes which saw the team return zero points for their trouble.

“The right to make mistakes, it is a basic principle. Mistakes are what we learn from. However, when you make the same mistakes twice, it means you haven’t learned and that you aren’t taking responsibility. And that, that is not acceptable.”

This high rhetoric from Rossi is surely the precursor to changes in personnel. Accusations of being “amateurish”, “mediocre” and of a poor “frame of mind” are simply unprofessional ad cannot be tolerated.



Team need to deliver soon

Whilst Rossi’s words were recorded prior to the Miami qualifying session which saw Gasly claim P5 and Ocon P8, the minimum the team should expect is a double points finish from there given the likes of McLaren and Lance Stroll are pretty much back of the grid.

Rossi clearly believes that given the history of the team and the resources delivered by Renault that results should be way ahead of where they are and will expect the team to deliver “very very” soon.

READ MORE: FIA attempt to ‘nobble’ Red Bull

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