Renault is using the Alpine brand in Formula 1 for “media” purposes – not for the development of technology.
That is the revelation of Luca de Meo, the new Renault CEO who decided to re-brand the French carmaker’s works F1 outfit as Alpine for 2021 and beyond.
That is despite the fact that Renault’s technological focus is clearly on electrification.
“I found the people at Renault Sport busy with engineering solutions for electric vehicles, so we asked ourselves if – after 43 years of Renault in Formula 1 – we could inscribe the Alpine brand in the history of the sport too.”
But if electrification is the focus, why didn’t Renault simply ignore F1 and enter Formula E instead?
“Because no one is watching Formula E,” de Meo told France’s Auto Hebdo.
“I am proceeding on the principle that Formula 1 needs to develop to meet the requirements associated with the impact of the automotive industry on the environment.
“I’m not running the world championship, but I think that by 2024 or 2025 electric technology will be used more widely in Formula 1,” he added.
Essentially, though, he said Renault is currently using Formula 1 as “a very important communication platform”.
“The championship is watched by about 500 million people, so – personally – I use it as media to increase the popularity of our brand.”