Alpine’s sale of a EUR 200 million stake in its Renault-owned Formula 1 team could be linked with the realisation of what it takes to step up the grid.
The Enstone-based outfit is currently in the midst of a 100-race plan to get itself into a front-running position – but Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi, recently highly critical of the team, admits that may need to be extended.
“It could be 120,” he is quoted by Spain’s El Mundo Deportivo. “The regulatory era has been extended for a year so we’re going until 2025.
“My goal is that, by then, the Alpine team has the same means as the best teams and operates in such a way that it can use these means to become a credible candidate for the podium.
“We are still moving in this direction, we are continuing to hire, to obtain equipment and resources, and this investment will help us to move even faster.
“That’s why I think we’re still on the right track.”
The investment he is talking about is the 24 percent team sale to a group of investors including Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds – perhaps most famous for playing Deadpool.
Rossi said in the official announcement of the deal that the money will be “reinvested in the team to further accelerate our Mountain Climber plan, aimed at catching up with top teams in terms of state-of-the-art facilities and equipment”.
He then told journalists that Aston Martin’s major performance boost this year, having actually finished three places behind Alpine in 2022, had been a “reality check”.
“For us, Mercedes, Ferrari – for everyone,” said Rossi. “For the entire sport of F1.
“It’s an industry that’s been doing pretty much the same thing for so long that it’s become a norm that it takes so long to get there,” he added.
“It’s true for everything – for road cars. They (Aston) have changed a couple of things, faster, differently, took a bit more risk and it paid off.”
He said Alpine is now in the process of making adjustments in the hope of completing the same sort of bold leap forward.
“People start scratching their heads a little more thinking ‘maybe we’re being too conservative, maybe we’re doing too much validation, maybe we can shorten the process here and there’,” said the Frenchman.
“Now you look at it and in hindsight it may not be necessary anymore. So we’re looking at a lot of things.”