Teams claim Alpine Renault ‘cheating’

Allegations of engine power manipulation surround Alpine in F1 as Mercedes and Ferrari ‘voice concerns’ concerns over alledged ‘cheating’ by the French.

In a recent development that has sent ripples through the Formula One paddock, the Alpine team has been accused of potentially manipulating engine power ratings to its competitive advantage. The allegations have prompted both Mercedes and Ferrari to raise concerns and appeal to the FIA, urging caution in the face of what they consider to be dubious claims by Alpine.


Engine balancing request by Alpine

The controversy centres on Alpine’s claims regarding the performance figures of its engine, specifically a claimed power deficit that the team claims can only be overcome by obtaining a special FIA permit. This permission would essentially give Alpine permission to tweak their engine to make up for the alleged power deficit.

Mercedes, led by Formula 1 team boss Toto Wolff, has joined forces with Ferrari to challenge Alpine’s claims. Both teams have questioned the validity of the French team’s claims, suggesting that Alpine may be exaggerating the extent of their power loss.

The issue came under scrutiny at a meeting of the Formula One Commission held in connection with the Belgian Grand Prix. Alpine had initially presented its case, claiming that its engine supplier, Renault, was struggling with a significant power shortfall – an alleged 30 bhp behind rivals Mercedes, Ferrari and Honda.


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Teams not convinced by Alpine’s claims

Alpine’s concerns prompted discussions among the teams to determine whether there was collective support for the implementation of performance-enhancing measures.

However, Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur was sceptical about the seriousness of the situation. Vasseur questioned whether Renault’s performance gap was significant enough to warrant special exceptions to the regulations. He suggested that such concessions are usually granted to manufacturers that are “completely out of reach”, and questioned whether Renault fit that description.

Echoing Ferrari’s concerns, Toto Wolff further scrutinised the claims. He revealed that Mercedes’ own measurements indicate that the Alpine engine’s power deficit is no more than three per cent compared to its rivals. This discrepancy, according to Wolff, is not enough to justify the kind of exemption that Alpine appears to be seeking.


Ferrari and Mercedes black Alpine FIA appeal



Wolff: It’s up to Renault to work harder

On whether Renault should be granted additional development hours, Wolff emphasised the existing regulations. He mentioned that the regulations were designed to deal with scenarios such as this, by giving manufacturers more time to test if their engines were significantly behind the three per cent benchmark.

“We have designed the regulations so that in 2026, if one of the manufacturers can no longer reach the three percent of the best engine, we will give it more time on the test bench . We’re not talking about 2026 now, but we’re in the middle of this rule cycle and it’s true that the rules are frozen.” emphasises Wolff.



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Renault need to sort this out themselves

However, Wolff stated that changing the regulations on a whim was not a viable option, adding that Renault should be proactive in addressing the situation.

Wolff made it clear that the current regulations cannot be arbitrarily changed simply to accommodate a team’s perceived underperformance. He outlined the possible way forward, suggesting that if changes were to be considered, they should be part of the next regulations cycle.

“But Fred is absolutely right, we don’t see anything even close to three percent.” Wolff adds that the regulations cannot be changed “just like that” and that Renault “must take matters into their own hands”.

He continues: “Secondly, we cannot change the regulations on the spur of the moment just because someone is not performing.


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For the time being, Wolff expressed confidence in the existing regulations and felt that the three per cent performance gap was acceptable.

“So if you want to change it for the next cycle, fine, but I think we’re in a good position at three percent. We’re certainly not going to allow them to tinker with the engine or increase fuel flow or anything like that.”

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2 responses to “Teams claim Alpine Renault ‘cheating’

  1. But dear Toto, what about the rule changes you/Mercedes pushed the FIA to enforce to slow down the teams that did solve the porpoising issues?
    Mercedes was the only one not willing to take appropriate actions.
    You even put Lewis’ health oat risk in Baku by ‘on prupose/porpoisely’ exacurate your problem with it.

  2. As usual everyone needs to adapt to mercedes but mercedes doesn’t need to adapt to anything or anyone.

    The amount of hypocrisy from this man is nothing but laughable. Fix your damn car!

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