Alpine CEO furious: 'Don't wait until the end of the year for consequences'

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Alpine CEO livid and threatens to intervene
8 May at 16:18
Last update 8 May at 21:07
  • GPblog.com

Things are not yet going as hoped at Alpine in 2023. Last season, the French formation finished fourth in the constructors' championship and the team was all too keen to build on that. However, it did not succeed, far from it. Aston Martin has passed Alpine and not by much. Things are hopping at the current number six in the constructors' championship.

Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi was confident that his formation could carry the 2022 momentum into this season. Although Oscar Piastri and Fernando Alonso were lost to McLaren and Aston Martin respectively, GP winner Pierre Gasly was brought in. Together with Ocon, he should start closing the gap towards the top teams. However, the gap has only widened.

Speaking to Formula 1's official website, Rossi speaks firmly. He expects, despite the season still being young, a difficult year. "I don’t want to give up, but a couple of things need to change. We need to continue reinforcing the team to get the performance back. One of the things that needs to change, as it’s largely the same team as last year, is mindset."

Rossi done with excuses

He does not say it out loud, but the Frenchman seems to suggest that not everyone on the team is working hard enough and that there are people who are too quick to be satisfied at times. "It starts with owning up to your mistakes, to not repeat the mistakes, to learn from your mistakes. It’s okay to make mistakes, it’s not okay to make them twice because it means you didn’t learn. This year, there is a lot of excuses, which lead to poor performance and a lack of operational excellence."

A common excuse that the gap to race stables like Red Bull Racing, Ferrari and Mercedes just won't close is that these top teams have better facilities. Rossi, however, wants nothing to do with that and points to Aston Martin. "Aston has less sengineers than us, as far as I know. They don’t have their own wind tunnel yet, they don’t have their plant running at the moment." According to the top man, the British formation has acted smartly by hiring the right people, and they have been very creative and efficient. "So no, I’m sorry, I don’t buy the resource excuse.”

Alpine severely underperforms

The 2023 target was to finish fourth in the world championship. The gap with number four Ferrari is already 64 points after five GPs. Rossi: "I don’t enter a competition and reset my objective because it’s easier. The team managed to get fourth. They have the means to get fourth, more so than others. I want them to be fourth. If they don’t, it’s going to be a failure."

If Alpine does not improve over the course of the season, CEO Rossi may intervene. "If they fail by giving 500% best and turning this ship around, there will be extenuating circumstances and it bodes well for the future. If not, it’s the rule of business, there’s going to be consequences. And I won’t wait until the end of the year," he warns.