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Alpine surprises with Zidane announcement: 'Happy to be part of the team'

Alpine surprises with Zidane announcement: 'Happy to be part of the team'

17-02-2023 07:57 Last update: 09:02

During the unveiling of the A523 for the 2023 Formula 1 season, Alpine came up with some news. Not just the new car, a number of contracts were also announced. These included former professional footballer Zinedine Zidane, who will work as an ambassador for the brand to promote equal opportunities.

Alpine came up with a number of announcements during the A523 presentation. For instance, the F1 team reported that Jack Doohan will start working as a reserve driver and Sophia Floersch was announced as a new member of the Alpine Academy. The German driver will make her return to Formula 3 in 2023 with team PHM Racing.

Zidane to work for Alpine

A surprising announcement, however, came in the form of Zidane, who will get to work as an ambassador for Alpine's diversity programme. "I am very happy to be here today and happy to be part of the Alpine team," the 50-year-old Frenchman said at the event, which GPblog attended.

In an Alpine press release, the former professional footballer elaborates on the new partnership. "I like the vision and the concrete approach of the Alpine teams, especially in the implementation of their equal opportunities’ programmes," he explained. Moreover, as a Frenchman and F1 enthusiast, Zidane has a "particular affection" for the team.

He continued: "I think it's important to tell children that, wherever they come from, they can one day become the champions of tomorrow in whatever walk of life they choose and that they should always believe in their dreams. This Alpine project is here to help make that possible. Change takes time, so if I can contribute and help speed things up, it's with great satisfaction for me."

Gasly: 'Zidane is one of my idols'

Pierre Gasly is also particularly pleased with the news. "He’s been one of my idols since I was a kid. I started playing football at five and just wanted to wear number 10, his jersey every time I was going to practice and training." So for the brand-new Alpine driver, it was a great opportunity to bombard his idol with "millions of questions" behind the scenes.

Zidane was voted the best footballer in the world three times and contributed to France's World Cup title in 1998 and the European Championship title in 2000. After the 2006 World Cup final against Italy, he decided to end his career as a professional footballer. He later went to work as coach of Real Madrid. He is also an ambassador for several charities.