Two months after warning the Alpine Formula 1 team that there’d be consequences if results didn’t improve, Laurent Rossi has been ousted as CEO of the carmaker and replaced by Philippe Krief.
Rossi was appointed CEO after the surprise dismissal of Cyril Abiteboul, ahead of Alpine joining the F1 grid in 2021 in a Renault rebrand.
After several years firmly in the midfield of the sport leading up to that, Rossi has seen a continuation of that form with Alpine recording fourth and fifth-place constructors’ championship finishes while they sit sixth in 2023.
They’ve recorded several podiums and a shock win at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, but have been overtaken by Aston Martin in 2023 and look to once again be fighting McLaren for fifth.
“I would like to thank Laurent for his unwavering commitment over the last two years at the helm of Alpine,” Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo said in a statement.
“Laurent has set out a clear and ambitious strategy for the brand. He has put Alpine in the best possible position to achieve its long-term goals, Alpine is now ready to enter a new phase of its development and to become a brand of the future.”
Rossi remains in the company and will apparently focus on ‘special projects’. Krief was Director of Engineering at Ferrari before joining Alpine in February.
De Meo added: “Philippe combines a long industry experience, great technical knowledge with the leadership qualities that are key to the success of our project, including the launch of the brand’s new vehicles starting next year.
“I fully trust Philippe and his team to take Alpine to new heights.”
Consequences for Rossi after F1 tirade
Though not directly overseeing the F1 operation of Alpine, Rossi made headlines in May as he slammed the team and warned team principal Otmar Szafnauer that heads would roll unless something changed.
Since then Esteban Ocon scored a welcome Monaco GP podium but they’ve only recorded two points finishes in the last three races.
“I don’t enter a competition and reset my objective because it’s easier,” Rossi told French TV channel Canal+ on the Miami GP weekend. “The team managed to get fourth. They have the means to get fourth, more so than others. I want them to be fourth. If they don’t, it’s going to be a failure.
“If they fail by giving 500 per cent best and turning this ship around, there will be extenuating circumstances and it bodes well for the future.
“If not, it’s the rule of business, there’s going to be consequences. And I won’t wait until the end of the year.”