Esteban Ocon, one of Alpine’s two French drivers, has expressed concerns that their new car for the 2024 Formula 1 season might be “a little slow.” This revelation comes amid a series of challenges faced by the Enstone and Viry-based team, including a failed mandatory FIA crash test and an overall tumultuous 2023 season.
Alpine, which operates under the Renault umbrella, faced a year marked by management upheaval and internal chaos, including a partial team sale to celebrity investors. Despite these obstacles, the team is set to unveil its 2024 car on February 7, coinciding with the reveal of their new hypercar for the world endurance championship, where Mick Schumacher, their new recruit, will be participating.
The departure of Alan Permane, a long-serving engineer and manager at Alpine, further complicates the team’s situation. Rumors are linking him with a move to Alpha Tauri for the upcoming season.
David Croft, a Sky commentator, relayed a concerning comment from Ocon to Spanish sports newspaper Marca: “Esteban (Ocon) told me before Christmas that the 2024 car is a little slow.” While this remark hints at potential performance issues, Ocon remains optimistic about the team’s prospects. He hopes Alpine can replicate Aston Martin’s significant progress made in 2023.
Ocon, 27, emphasized the team’s ambition, stating, “I don’t know if it’s realistic and to be honest I don’t care, but that’s what we have to look for. That’s where we have to aim.” He further stressed the importance of a positive mindset, asserting, “We are not going to start the new year thinking any other way. Because otherwise we would never be winners.”