Alpine team principal Bruno Famin has refused to speculate as to where the team will be on the grid for the 2024 Formula 1 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, and has no expectations in terms of overall results for the French outfit.
Famin, installed as team principal in July of 2023 following Otmar Szafnauer left Alpine during the Belgian GP weekend, will also combine that role with his duties as vice president of Alpine Motorsport.
Alpine head into 2024 hoping to improve results after a disappointing 2023 F1 campaign, where the team fell from fourth to sixth in the constructors’ championship despite Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon securing a podium each.
“We are not going to set any expectations in terms of results, positions,” explained Famin to select media outlets including Total-Motorsport.com, at the launch of Alpine’s 2024 car.
“A good 2024 season will be, first, to see good improvement in the way we work all-together at the factory, to be able to unleash the creativity, to extract more from the talented people we have at Enstone and Viry.
“And if we can do that, we will be able to develop our car, which is a brand new car, we don’t know where we will be on the grid at the start of the season because quite a lot of teams have the same approach in having a quite new car [concept].
“And that’s why it’s very difficult to set expectations in terms of position. The dynamic [in how] we will show in the car development, in the way we work within the team as a whole will [determine whether we have a good or] not good 2024 season.”
Alpine power unit still a concern
Despite on-track struggles, Alpine received substantial financial backing from the investment group Otro Capital, who sunk €200 million into the Anglo-French team in exchange for a 24 percent equity stake.
Alpine are also improving facilities at their factories in Enstone in Oxfordshire and Viry-Châtillon near Paris.
However, the team are unable improve their much-beleaguered power unit in 2024 as development has been frozen since 2022. Alpine’s earliest opportunity to improve the power unit will come when new regulations are introduced in 2026.
“We’re still lacking on the recovery side, to be honest,” admitted Famin. “Because with the regulations as it is, we try to improve that because we are allowed to homologate a new software per year now. And this is something we’ve worked on. Let’s try to reduce the gap a bit together.
“But there will be no major differences with the previous year because you know the [power] unit [regulations] is frozen.
“We have already invested a lot in our facilities. In Viry, we have invested in two new dynos for electric motors. We are renewing quite a lot of things, the whole building of Viry is almost totally renewed we are renewing our car dyno.
“In Enstone, we are investing in a new simulator, and we are investing a lot with a plan from the FIA within the cost gap, which has been voted a couple of months ago, which will enable us to complete those investments in in our facilities.”