Alpine pair resign after disastrous start to F1 season

Technical director Matt Harman and head of aerodynamics Dirk de Beer have reportedly tendered their resignations

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Alpine‘s 2024 Formula 1 season has started under less than ideal circumstances, and recent developments suggest deeper internal challenges. The team, which had modest hopes for their A524 car, emphasising the necessity for mid-season developments, and found itself in a troubling position even before the competitive racing began.

The French outfit’s technical director, Matt Harman, and head of aerodynamics, Dirk de Beer, reportedly resigned before the Bahrain Grand Prix, indicating significant turmoil within the team’s ranks. 

This news comes at a time when Alpine‘s performance in pre-season testing and early races has not met expectations, marking a stark contrast to their more promising position as the fourth-best team just two years ago under the current regulations.

Alpine‘s strategy, heavily reliant on the improvement of Renault’s engine and aerodynamic advancements, seems to have faltered. The A524’s conservative design and overweight issues have been highlighted as key areas of concern, contributing to the team’s underperformance. 

The reliance on hard tyres during testing, possibly an attempt to mask their true pace, did little to prevent the evident lack of speed in free practice and qualifying sessions, where drivers Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly found themselves at the bottom of the timing sheets.

Esteban Ocon leads Alpine teammate Pierre Gasly in qualifying ahead of the 2024 Bahrain GP | Alpine F1 Team
Esteban Ocon leads Alpine teammate Pierre Gasly in qualifying ahead of the 2024 Bahrain GP | Alpine F1 Team

Alpine in crisis 

The resignations, if confirmed, would underscore a crisis of confidence in the team’s direction and its A524 car. With the limitations on resources and wind tunnel time, the path to mid-season recovery looks daunting. 

This may force Alpine to reconsider their strategy, potentially focusing on the long-term changes set for 2026, rather than investing further in a season that has started so unfavourably.

For Alpine, a team that once held the title of ‘best of the rest’, the early exit of key technical leaders could mark a pivotal moment in their campaign. 

The challenge now will not only be improving the A524’s performance on the track but also stabilising the team’s internal dynamics to ensure a coherent approach to development moving forward.

John Smith
John Smithhttps://total-motorsport.com
Editor at Total-Motorsport.com and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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