Alpine F1 has finally shown themselves to the F1 world. After their rebranding from Renault F1, the team has a “fresh start” into the 2021, with big hopes for the upcoming season.
The rebranding is a part of a wider strategy utilised by Renault in order to rescue the company, due to ongoing problems strengthened by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the strategy, all sports divisions of Renault are now under one Alpine brand, in order to focus other brands in the Renault Group on other sectors (like EV’s, for example).
Fernando Alonso, the driver who will be partnered by Esteban Ocon as the driver line-up for 2021 was absent from the presentation. As we remember, not so long ago he had a cycling accident in Switzerland that led to a jaw surgery. Alonso is now all good and recovering, as well as preparing himself for the upcoming season. Esteban Ocon, who took part in the virtual launch of the car, introduced the history of Alpine to the presentations viewers, to remind them of the sport spirit in the brand. As a French, he put a great importance on the fact that this new chapter in the history of the team is an amazing opportunity for him and the others, hoping for great results.
As said by Ocon: “I’m very excited to represent Alpine F1 Team. I thing it’s great to see the changes in the team and seeing new colours is always exciting. I’ve already had my first outing as an Alpine driver at Rally Monte-Carlo, which was a brilliant way to start the year. I have to say, I love the new colours and having a French flag on the car makes me very proud. It’s great, it’s exciting and I think it’s going to be a great season ahead.”
Ahead of the launch, Alonso said: “I am extremely happy to be back after two years away from F1. I’m very motivate heading into this new chapter with Alpine, and it’s of course very special to be back with the team that I achieved so much with in the past. The spirit is strong at both factories in Enstone and Viry-Châtillon, and we’re all very excited for what’s ahead.”
The team will be joined by Guanyu Zhou as their test driver. Zhou is a part of the Alpine drivers academy. As a little bombshell dropped by the team, Daniil Kvyat will become the reserve driver for Alpine.
We were finally presented with the new Alpine F1 livery. The new look for the team visible on the A521 was designed by Sean Bull and it evolves around a distinguished light blue colour, white and red, reminiscent of the French flag.
The team presented as well the base of their managerial structure: Davide Brivio, the racing director; Marcin Budkowski, the executive director and Laurent Rossi, the newly appointed CEO of Alpine. The CEO of the Renault Group Luca De Meo also took part in the virtual launch. As we can see the team, during the rebrand, underwent managerial changes, including the exit of Cyril Abiteboul from the team.
The Alpine A521 will make its first track appearance during the season testing in Bahrain, which will take place between 12-14 of March.