Formula 1

How Alpine Saved Renault From Leaving Formula 1

Had it not been for Alpine’s sponsorship, there’s a good chance that Renault group would not be in Formula 1 today, according to the Enstone-based team’s new CEO Laurent Rossi.

“The thinking behind Renault and F1 was constantly questioned within the company, for various reasons,” Rossi, who will report directly to Renault CEO Luca de Meo, told French media outledt Auto Hebdo. “Whenever we encountered problems and had to cut costs, the management wondered what the project was worth—and that makes sense.”

“Every so many years it was thought about whether participating in Formula 1 was worth the money.”

Rossi said the problem is that F1 is a sport focused mainly on sporting performance, which in many ways does not align with Renault’s road car operations.

“Formula 1 was so far removed from our commercial products that we wondered whether it really helped in selling Clios or Meganes,” Rossi said. “Alpine and Formula 1 is a much more logical combination. The brand will be able to use the media attention very well.

“(With) 23 Grands Prix with 500 million people seeing the logo every two weeks—that will undoubtedly pay off. Especially when we are in good company with Aston Martin, Mercedes, McLaren and Ferrari.”

The Alpine team will feature drivers Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon in 2021.

The F1 season begins March 28 at Bahrain.

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