Alpine has announced that Laurent Rossi would be stepping down as CEO of the French firm and the Formula 1 team and that Philippe Krief will be taking over in that position. While Alpine searches for a new Vice President of Engineering and Product Performance, Krief will continue in his current capacity. Meanwhile, Rossi is going to "focus on special projects linked to the transformation of the Group". Just recently, Alpine reorganised its racing senior management setup, promoting F1 engine head Bruno Famin to vice president of Alpine Motorsports, so this latest shift at the top is not surprising. In January 2021, Rossi took over as CEO of the Alpine brand of sports cars. His duties also included overseeing the operation of the whole Formula 1 squad. After Cyril Abiteboul's tenure as team principal from 2014 to his replacement in 2016, Renault struggled to comply with the 1.6-litre turbo hybrid regulations and came under fire from Red Bull, who was at that time using the Renault engine under the Tag Huer badge.
F1: Alpine Under Laurent Rossi’s Management
In 2021, the Renault F1 team became the Alpine F1 team, and Rossi announced an aggressive 100-race strategy to build the team into a consistent podium contender by the 2024 season. The team has only had one more top-three finish since Esteban Ocon's surprising triumph at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix. In the 2023 Grand Prix of Monaco, Ocon finished third.
Given Rossi's views in the post, the reorganisation seemed to be a move that would enable the Enstone and Viry divisions to function with less influence from headquarters, while Famin would likely serve as a 'shield' to let the F1 operation concentrate more.
There have been several changes to the Formula One team throughout Rossi's time there, and not all of them have been improvements. During Rossi's tenure, the team has lost Fernando Alonso and Oscar Piastri as drivers, as well as Marcin Budkowski and Alain Prost, and gained Otmar Szafnauer as team principal.
After an unimpressive start to the season, Rossi was vocal in his displeasure and promised to make roster changes before the end of 2023 if he did not see a turnaround. After what seemed like a promising beginning, Rossi's leadership did not seem to be developing in a way that benefitted the squad.
F1: Alpine’s 2023 Season So Far
McLaren's improved performance this season after a slow start and follows the team's introduction of its first significant upgrade packages. This has led to Lando Norris's fourth-place result in Austria and his recent second-place finish at Silverstone. McLaren moved up to fifth in the constructors' standings, passing Alpine thanks to the DNFs of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly at the British Grand Prix, where Oscar Piastri also finished fourth.
For the Hungaroring race, Alpine bought a new front wing in an effort to reclaim 5th place in the constructors' title from McLaren. This revised top flap design is an appropriate next step from the more extensive modifications the team made to its front wing's construction during the British Grand Prix.
As a result of this season's poor performance, Alpine has dropped to sixth place in the constructors' championship. Despite Szafnauer's doubt that his side has fallen behind the competition, he is aware of the fact that they need to start scoring points regularly.