Alpine restructuring as a result of ‘shocking’ start to the season: ‘Change was necessary’

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Alpine restructuring as a result of 'shocking' start to the season: 'Change was necessary'

Alpine has found it increasingly difficult in recent years, but team boss Bruno Famin had to admit that no one really saw the current state of affairs coming at the start of the season. Drivers Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon finished outside the points during the first two race weekends, while the French racing team aims to join the top teams. So there is work to be done, Famin emphasized.

The Alpine team has had a turbulent 2023. Several key players left or were even fired by the team, prompting a major restructuring to be announced in the hope of turning things around. Yet this major change still leaves much to be desired: a few weeks ago, technical director Matt Harman and head of aerodynamics Dirk de Beer resigned, after former team boss Otmar Szafnauer, sporting director Alan Permane and president Laurent Rossi were able to pack their things earlier. However, according to Famin, this restructuring is necessary to get the team back on track.

Restructuring should bring benefits to Alpine

The new team boss sees the departure of Harman and De Beer mainly as a turning point in the history of the French racing team. After much thought, he ultimately decided to opt for a structure very similar to McLaren’s, including three technical directors with their own specialization. He explained to Motorsport.com that the change was quite necessary. ‘We actually expected that this season would be really difficult, because we already said that during the presentation of the new car. But the start of the season turned out to be one big shock. During qualifying we were on the last row of the grid and that was a big drama, but it did mean that we need change.’

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Alpine restructuring as a result of 'shocking' start to the season: 'Change was necessary'
(Photo: Alpine Racing)

According to Famin, the change has the necessary advantages for the French racing team. ‘We wanted to take the results we showed on the track during the final phase of the previous season back to the factory as quickly as possible, and with that I mainly wanted to focus on the improvements that bring out the best in our people.’ Alpine’s new team boss is almost certain that the new structure with three technical directors will achieve exactly that objective, because all three have their own area to focus on. ‘With three technical directors, our organization becomes flat instead of vertical, because more is now possible. More is happening, we can be flexible, and people still have the opportunity to develop.’

Approach must be different to connect

Yet there is still one thing missing from Alpine, and that is a car that makes the desired results achievable. Famin previously indicated that there will still be some work to be done to make this possible. ‘The car is the complete opposite of our car from last year, but our development continues at a rapid pace. We must first understand what the problems are and where they arise, although we do have the idea that we understand more and more.’ Famin already dares to make a bold prediction, although it will not be easy to realize it: ‘There is potential in the car and great things are coming, but we have to develop the car in a different way. Our approach must be different.’

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