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Alpine to have “best car ever” in 2022, says Rossi

Esteban Ocon, Formula One pre-season testing, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021. (Photo by Mazen MAHDI / AFP) (Photo by MAZEN MAHDI/AFP via Getty Images)

Following a good 2020 season as Renault, the newly rebranded Alpine F1 Team wants to keep the momentum into 2021, promising big things for 2022.

With next year’s regulations set to shake up the grid, the team’s CEO Laurent Rossi came out saying that Alpine is ready to tackle the challenge of building their “best ever” car for the new era.

Rossi admitted recently that their 2021 challenger, the A521, has probably “reached its limits”, following a carryover of much of last year’s F1 cars into this year, in an effort to save costs during the Coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “What we want to do is carry on building on what we’ve done. We know we’ve more or less reached the end of this car anyway (…) So [we will] extract as much as we can out of this car, use this to fine-tune the operations’ organization, and in the meantime make sure we build the best ever car for the next regulation era.”

With the team rebranded as Alpine and with the departure of former Renault Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul, the French F1 team has also brought a series of personnel changes: ex-Suzuki MotoGP boss Davide Brivio, joining the team as racing director, working alongside executive director Marcin Budkowski.

“The team back in Enstone has changed quite a bit in the past few years (…) Even though we’re working with a car that has kind of reached its limits and it’s a good car – it’s not the best car, we can see it – but it’s a good car”, Rossi said.

He continued by stating “The team in place now is a different set of people – not all of them – there’s tons of them that are very good but there’s a bit of change: Marcin came in, started to put his touch to the team; we hired a couple of high-profile engineers (…) So very confident that this new mayonnaise will taste good next year”

“We’re French, so we know a thing or two about mayonnaise”, he jokingly said.

“We have a plan, we have a vision. When I arrived I spoke quite extensively to Marcin, he laid out a pretty clear roadmap for the team (…) I went into the weeds, because I’m an engineer, and I spoke to all the engineers, and I realized that they’re pretty much aligned with him, which is rare, because I’ve been to many organizations where you talk to the top and you go to the layers underneath and it’s not always aligned… (…) So that gives me a lot of confidence because there’s a plan in place. There are best practices that are coming from all the teams. We have people that worked in the top teams for the past 23 years. We have a two-time World Champion [Fernando Alonso] that’s going to bring the expertise in. I think we’re on the first step of a long journey, but I’m very confident”, he concluded.

Time will tell where Alpine will be in 2022, but with an almost complete change of personnel and a team that’s looking stronger than ever, everybody has good reasons to be excited about the French team’s future in F1.

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