Alpine

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Alpine F1

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Team principal:

Bruno Famin

Technical director:

Joe Burnell/Eric Meignan

Place of business:

Enstone, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

Renault, the French car manufacturer, has been active in Formula 1 since 1977, serving in various capacities as both a team owner and engine manufacturer. As a works team, Renault has won two constructors’ and drivers’ championships, while as an engine manufacturer, it has won 12 constructors’ and 11 drivers’ championships. It has achieved over 160 victories as an engine supplier, ranking fourth in Formula 1 history. The team currently operates under the name Alpine.

Renault’s Entry into Formula 1

In 1977, the company entered Formula 1 as a constructor and introduced the turbo engine to Formula 1 with its EF1 engine. In 1983, Renault began supplying engines to other teams. Despite the Renault team winning races, it withdrew at the end of 1985. Renault returned to Formula 1 as an engine manufacturer in 1989.

Golden Era in the 90s

Between 1992 and 1997, Renault won five drivers’ titles and six constructors’ titles with Williams and Benetton: Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill, and Jacques Villeneuve won championships. However, Renault ended its factory involvement after 1997, although their engines were used without factory support until 2000. The return followed in 2000. Renault purchased the Benetton Formula team based in Enstone, the former team that won the championship in 1995 with Schumacher and Renault support. Renault became a factory engine manufacturer again in 2001, and in 2002, the Enstone-based team was renamed Renault.

Major Successes with Fernando Alonso

The team celebrated major successes with Fernando Alonso, winning the drivers’ and constructors’ championships in 2005 and 2006. Alonso left but returned in 2008 after a tumultuous year at McLaren. With his return, Renault aimed for new success. The reunion started promisingly, and eventually, two victories were achieved in Singapore and Japan. However, the Singapore victory turned out to be a stain on Renault’s F1 history.

The 2008 Crashgate Scandal

In the race, Nelson Piquet Jr. is instructed to cause a safety car situation by crashing. Alonso greatly benefits from this and wins the race. Piquet, who has since been dismissed, confesses his actions during the investigation. Team bosses Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds receive lengthy penalties, which are quickly rescinded.

After a strong finish in 2008, Renault appears to be the challenger for 2009. However, the high expectations are far from met. Piquet Jr. is replaced mid-season by Romain Grosjean. Alonso achieves his only podium of the year in Singapore, and after the race, he announces his departure for Ferrari. In 2011, Renault sells its shares in the Enstone-based team, although it continues to use the Renault chassis name in 2011.

The Alpine Era

Renault remains in the sport as an engine manufacturer. It wins four drivers’ and constructors’ titles with Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing from 2010 to 2013. The company repurchases the Enstone-based team in 2016 and renames it Renault. However, the trophy cabinet remains empty. The team does not win in the following five seasons and is renamed Alpine in 2021, after the brand’s sports car line. With Esteban Ocon and the returning Fernando Alonso, some successes are achieved: a victory for Ocon in Hungary ’21 and a podium for Alonso in Qatar the same year.

The rule revolution of 2022 has not yet brought Alpine the success it had long hoped for. A fourth place in the constructors’ championship is the best achievable, prompting Alonso to leave once again. His seat will be taken over by Pierre Gasly in 2023, completing Alpine’s perfect French marketing picture. Now all that’s left is to achieve success, which has been somewhat lacking this year. Although Ocon’s third place in Monaco is a nice boost for the team. However, the media mainly writes about the turmoil behind the scenes. Both CEO Laurent Rossi, team boss Otmar Szafnauer, and chief designer Pat Fry are expected to leave before the summer break.

Profile of BWT Alpine F1 Team

Team Principal Bruno Famin
Technical Director Joe Burnell
Test Driver 2024 Jack Doohan
Headquarters Enstone
GP Debut Great Britain 1977
Driver Titles 2 (2005, 2006)
Constructor Titles 2 (2005, 2006)
Final Standings 2023 12
Drivers
Esteban Ocon #31
Nationality French
Date of Birth 17-9-1996
GP Debut Belgium 2016
World Titles None
Final Standings 2023 12
Pierre Gasly #10
Nationality French
Date of Birth 7-2-1996
GP Debut Malaysia 2017
World Titles None
Final Standings 2023 11
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