‘Alpine in no man’s land again as French battle continues?’

Total-Motorsport.com take a closer look at what to expect from Alpine ahead of the 2024 Formula 1 season

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Alpine were on no man’s land in 2023 and the aim for the team is to move closer to the front in Formula 1 with Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon.

Both drivers are out of contract at the end of 2024 and if tension does rise between them, maybe one of Gasly or Ocon will be on the move.

Bruno Famin was confirmed as Alpine‘s team principal at their launch after taking over as interim following Otmar Szafnauer‘s dismissal in July 2023.

Total-Motorsport.com journalists Adam DickinsonJasmine HughesJoe Krishnan, Ed Spencer and Brandon Sutton take a look at what to expect from Alpine in 2024.

Brandon Sutton: Alpine to fight with Williams more

Ocon might get his elbows out in 2024 as the team leader dynamic could shift away from him following Gasly’s strong debut season for the French team. The former Red Bull driver outscored Ocon by four points and soundly beat him in the qualifying battle, winning 14-8.

With the Mercedes seat opening up in 2025, Ocon’s past relationship with Toto Wolff could land him the spot but will they go for him if he is, once again, unconvincing against Gasly?

As for the team itself? 2023 was a challenging season. They were left behind by Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes but, worryingly, they were ditched by McLaren and Aston Martin too leaving them fighting for scraps as far as points were concerned.

The Alpine A524 F1 2024 car | Alpine F1 Team

I’m not expecting them to step forwards to close the gap to the front runners, and if anything, I expect it to grow with new leadership still attempting to figure out the ropes in the wake of Szafnauer.

I think they will be fighting Williams more often than McLaren which was an unthinkable thing to say back in 2022 and shows how they’ve stagnated through 2023.

Constructors’ Championship prediction: 7th place

Adam Dickinson: What is a good season for Alpine now?

It’s hard to even know what’s a good season for Alpine anymore. After cleaning house yet again in 2023, this is the first full season under a new regime so we’re apparently back at the start of ANOTHER development arc and there’s plenty of scope for ‘give them time’ excuses.

They spent most of last year on a bit of an island, consistently behind the frontrunners but comfortably ahead of the basement battlers led by Williams.

The one note for optimism is ironically the reason that Szafnauer and co got fired, that McLaren and Aston Martin showed it is possible to get up the grid pretty sharpish if a team can get all their ducks aligned.

And if Alpine can, then Ocon and Gasly are very capable of landing headline results – they’re one of just four driver pairings to have both won a Grand Prix.

The problem is that I’ll believe it when I see it because Enstone haven’t shown that kind of potential for a decade now.

Constructors’ Championship prediction: 6th place

Jack Doohan, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon ahead of 2024 F1 season | Alpine F1 Team

Ed Spencer: Put up or shut up time

Alpine’s 2023 season had an element of Les Miserables to it as a slew of managerial sackings, including CEO Laurent Rossi and team principal Szafnauer, overshadowed what was a disappointing year on track.

New team principal Bruno Famin has a tough job ahead, not least with an engine down on power and a divided workforce, although the latter is being smoothed over.

On the driver front, Gasly and Ocon go into the year relatively equal, but with better seats up for grabs, the competition between the old karting rivals will likely intensify.

Gasly comes into 2024 with momentum on his side after an excellent second half of 2023, where he made Ocon look ordinary and ended his podium drought with third at the Dutch Grand Prix.

Ocon needs to up his game with his Alpine contract set to run out at the end of the year and must iron out some of the mistakes which cost him points in 2023.

With new investors behind them, 2024 will be a crunch year for Alpine and its future, with the Renault group getting impatient after nine years of substantial investment but little reward to show for it.

Constructors’ Championship prediction: 6th place

Joe Krishnan: Fiery French battles to continue

It has been a turbulent 12 months for the Enstone team, from sacking their team principal Szafnauer to sliding down two places in the constructors’ championship.

Somewhere along the way, Alpine’s development hit a snag and they were left behind by their rivals. They finished 120 points adrift of Aston Martin and a further 24 away from McLaren to show just how far they have fallen from the 2022 season, when they finished fourth.

They have a decent driver pairing in Gasly and Ocon, who both finished on the podium in 2023 and are closely-matched in their performance on the track. Gasly’s eight-point haul from the six Sprint races last year helped him pip Ocon by four points in the world championship, and the fiery battles between the Frenchmen could continue into 2024.

The pressure is on team principal Famin to keep them in line and also provide them with a car worthy of challenging higher up the grid. Historically, their Renault engine hasn’t generated enough power – and they could be under intense pressure from Williams this year.

Constructors’ Championship prediction: 6th place

The Alpine A524 F1 2024 car | Alpine F1 Team

Jasmine Hughes: Hard to be optimistic about Alpine

The French team seemed self-cannibalising last season, practically haemorrhaging key members of staff. Between Alpine’s seemingly shambolic state of internal affairs, and the fact that there appears to remain underlying tension between its drivers Gasly and Ocon (even despite their protestations), it’s hard to feel optimistic about Alpine’s 2024 season.

Alpine finished the previous season sixth in the standings, bolstered by a podium each from Ocon and Gasly. As the other teams on the grid up their game, it feels unlikely Alpine will achieve similar results this year.

Constructors’ Championship prediction: 7th place

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