Alpine have seemingly abandoned their five-year plan to be fighting for wins and Formula 1 championships, following a major leadership shake-up in August.
The Renault-owned outfit have fallen below expectations in 2023, often operating as the sixth-best team despite finishing 2022 fourth in the constructors’ championship.
Subsequently heads had to roll, and as a result of the disappointment Laurent Rossi (Alpine CEO), Otmar Szafnauer (team principal), Alan Permane (sporting director) and Pat Fry (chief technical officer) all departed from the project, or were relocated within the Renault structure.
The five-year plan has often been mocked in the F1 world considering Alpine‘s apparent failure to realise their ambitions, and Williams team principal James Vowles suggested that it’s impossible to plan so far ahead as regulations evolve.
Comments by Renault CEO Luca De Meo suggests that he agrees with Vowles and that the team has finally abandoned their five-year target.
“It seemed like a brutal action, and it was,” De Meo said to it.motorsport.com. “But we are behind what we set for ourselves as goals.
“Not that I forced them to set targets, but they set them themselves. They communicated them, and it didn’t work because we didn’t have the right trajectory
“You have to work on it. You can’t close the box and then talk about it again after five years. We are aware of this – we theoretically have the resources to do well with a team that is quite well-financed.”
Rumours of Andretti sale dismissed
Over the years, Renault have somewhat jumped in and out of F1 as a manufacturer. The team made their debut all the way back in 1977 before leaving in 1986.
They returned in 2002 and won two world titles with Fernando Alonso in 2005 and 2006 but left in 2010 as Lotus entered the grid. In 2016, the team once again returned and have remained in the paddock to date.
Thus one can see why it would be natural to suspect Renault could be open to an offer of selling the team, with the Andretti name often linked.
Andretti is primed to join F1 to become the second American manufacturer on the grid and amidst the rumours of a possible sale, De Meo didn’t end them beyond dispute.
“I’m disappointed because we went badly at Monza, after a podium in Zandvoort,” De Meo added. “But we’re not where we should be at all. We have to do a job of raising it bit by bit.
“And all those stories that I would like to sell the team are…F1 is part of the Alpine project like endurance and other races, so let’s move forward and we have to grow.”