It’s been a tumultuous time for Alpine both on and off the track after sacking various team leaders, including their team principal Otmar Szafnauer, and several disappointing races this season. The reason for this shift in personnel is Alpine’s 100-race plan, something that the team feels they aren’t on track to achieve. The plan has been criticised by former Renault team principal, Cyril Abiteboul, as being flawed from the start.
Abiteboul was the Renault team principal before they rebranded to Alpine in 2021 when a similar personnel shift occurred in which he and several others lost their job.
“The plan to quantify 100 grands prix… why not 120, why not 80? I don’t understand it,” Abiteboul said.
“When you start putting forward a plan like that, you’re sure to get it wrong because you don’t know what others are doing in Formula 1. Aston Martin’s colossal investments, Red Bull’s incredible momentum, none of that is going to stop just because Laurent Rossi’s 99th grand prix came along.”
The Frenchman went on to say that the frequent personnel changes at the team are only setting the team further back in their ambitious timeline.
“The previous management made a point of having a complete reset after I left, which involved dismissing around 15 people,” Abiteboul explained.
“We underestimate this all the time in F1, as in other highly competitive sectors: it takes time to get someone from the competition.
“When you lose 15 people and you hire, it takes two or three years before it takes effect. The reshuffle that Laurent Rossi decided to make, we haven’t even really seen its impact.”
He added that these changes suggest that “beyond impatience, there may also have been a bit of arrogance at the start of the season, or overconfidence.
“When you don’t face up to reality, after a while you start telling yourself stories. You cannot rule out that the story they told themselves internally was too flattering, but Alpine isn’t that far off either.
“The variations in competitiveness have affected everyone this season, with the exception of Red Bull. Alpine, on the other hand, are always a notch too low. Sometimes it’s their fault, sometimes it’s not.
“The car’s competitiveness at the start of the season was below par, and they haven’t had the kind of miraculous upgrade that other teams have had.”