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More misery for Alpine as two key personnel call it quits

The Enstone and Viry-based outfit were the decidedly slowest team during the opening round of the 2024 season

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Technical Director Matt Harman and Head of Aerodynamics Dirk de Beer have resigned from their roles with Alpine F1 Team.

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Alpine had the slowest car on track for the Bahrain Grand Prix, slumping to P17 and P18 at the chequered flag (Image Credit: @AlpineF1Team on X)

As reported by RacingNews365, the pair have become the latest key personnel to leave the Enstone and Viry-based outfit, following the likes of Otmar Szafnauer, Alan Permane, Davide Brivio and Laurent Rossi in recent times among others. Chief Technical Officer Pat Fry also left the team last year, moving to rival outfit Williams Racing.

Their reasons for splitting with Alpine vary wildly, but it’s clear that there is a lack of mutual agreement and a clashing of values between important figures in the team. Rumours are circulating of a tense and bitter environment within both chassis and engine factories at Enstone and Viry respectively.

Harman and de Beer both handed in their resignations before the start of the 2024 Formula One World Championship, and are currently seeing out their notice periods. Harman was employed by Alpine for over five years, while de Beer has worked at the Enstone factory since 2019.

Considering the sub-par on-track performance of the team’s 2024 challenger, the A524, during the first round of the season in Bahrain, they will both likely be relieved to abandon a sinking ship.

A disastrous opening weekend for Alpine

Expectations were low for the Bahrain Grand Prix. Drivers Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly independently admitted that they could very well be at the back of the grid.

With an overweight car and unpredictable drivability, the Alpine duo did in fact qualify on the back row of the grid in 19th and 20th. Things didn’t improve during the race either, with Ocon and Gasly only finishing ahead of drivers who encountered major issues over the course of the 57-lap event. No points for the French outfit.

There won’t be much time to learn and certainly no time for upgrades before Alpine head to Jeddah for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix occurring in less than one week. But the team are pushing to develop a far better package in the long term and will weather the expected storm for at least the first few rounds.

As Ocon said to motorsport.com: “There are still going to be things to play for this year. And I need to keep on pushing. Because if you start that low, and with how you guys are speaking, I can quit and just exit the paddock right now. But no, that’s not who I am.”

Feature Image Credit: Formula 1

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