FormulaNerds Cut To The Race Podcast

Alpine F1 team responds to rumours of a potential sale

Enstone team's future has been the subject of speculation following disastrous start to 2024

Latest Episode | Cut To The Race Podcast

Renault has confirmed the future of its beleaguered Alpine F1 team after rumours circulated that it planned to sell its F1 operation. 

Pierre Gasly's Alpine leaves the pits during the Japanese Grand Prix (Image Credit: Alpine F1 Team on X)
Pierre Gasly’s Alpine leaves the pits during the Japanese Grand Prix (Image Credit: Alpine F1 Team on X)

Alpine’s start to 2024 has been a struggle, to say the least. The A521’s issues are not just documented; they’re glaring. It grapples on all circuit types, a victim of poor aerodynamics and weight issues severely hampering its performance.

Alpine is rooted at the bottom of the constructors’ championship. The team has the combined worst finish positions of any team on the grid. To add further insult to injury, it has yet to score points so far in 2024. Reliability has added to the issues, with Pierre Gasly suffering a gearbox failure in Saudi Arabia.

Upgrades fitted to the A521 in Japan failed to move the team forward. Logan Sargeant’s mistake into Degna 2 saved the team from the embarrassment of having both cars finish last in Suzuka on paper. But, in reality, Japan was a nightmare for Alpine. Contact at the start of the races ensured both drivers had their races compromised, with Gasly suffering floor damage.

Alpine’s troubles go beyond a torrid start to 2024. The Enstone-based Renault works team has been in turmoil for some considerable time following a period of steep decline. Now, the Renault hierarchy has confirmed whether it will pull the plug on its beleaguered F1 operation.

Alpine responded to the rumours as they quickly gained traction, confirming the team is not for sale. As reported by PlanetF1, an Alpine spokesperson said:

“The rumours and stories about the team being for sale are false.

The team is categorically not for sale.”

What were the rumours?

Speculation first began to emerge on Wednesday morning when motorsport.com stated a sale of Alpine was potentially on the cards. No interested parties were listed.

Any sale would have come with a substantial caveat. The Renault power unit, which is currently lagging behind its rivals on both speed and reliability, would have to remain the power unit for any new team until at least 2029. This would be to safeguard the future of the engineers working on the 2026 power unit overhaul.

But in a sign of perhaps just how destabilised Alpine is currently, driver rumours also circulated. Speculation that Esteban Ocon plans to jump ship also gained traction. The Frenchman’s contract expires at the end of 2024. No indication has been given so far on whether he will continue with the team.

Despite Alpine not engaging with Ocon, board members are supposedly deeply unhappy with the Frenchman’s courting of Mercedes. Ocon has links to Mercedes and Toto Wolff, following his time as a Mercedes Academy driver. However, this rumour has been dismissed, with Ocon’s future still poetically at Alpine despite the turmoil.

Where did the rumours come from?

There is no clear foundation from which rumours of Alpine being up for sale have started. However, it is worth noting, as Planet F1 reports, that just three months ago, Renault formally closed recently closed a massive source of investment to the team.

Otro Capital bought circa €200 million into Alpine, resulting in a 24% stake for Otro in a deal finalised back in December 2023. This now puts Alpine’s value at a staggering $900 million, a healthy valuation for an F1 team in the Liberty Media era.

The deal brought the likes of footballer Juan Mata and golfer Rory McIlroy to the team as investors, and can be seen on occasion when attending races.

 

Feature Image Credit: @AlpineF1Team on X 

 

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.

Back to the top