Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi admits the Renault-owned team is unlikely to hits its goal of breaking into the top three constructors’ in Formula 1 this year.
Last year, Alpine – then with Fernando Alonso at the wheel – finished fourth overall before the two-time champion defected to Aston Martin.
Aston Martin now appears to have skyrocketed from seventh overall in 2022 to being arguably the second-fastest team behind Red Bull early this season.
It seems to be a blow for Alpine’s earlier-stated goal of breaking into the top F1 teams.
“Everyone is saying ‘Ah, they’re delaying’,” Rossi told France’s Auto Hebdo. “But it takes time to turn a boat like this – to get to where Mercedes was, to where Red Bull is now.
“Those teams took a good three, four, five years, even more for Ferrari, to find their way to the podium,” he insisted.
Renault’s works F1 team was rebranded as Alpine for 2021, when Rossi declared that regular podiums would be achievable within 100 grands prix.
“The first two seasons of this four to five-year plan are going well,” he now says. “They are in line with our expectations.
“We finished fifth in 2021, fourth in 2022, it’s natural now to aim for the podium.”
Indeed, third currently seems out of reach – with Aston Martin as well as Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull apparently monopolising those places for now.
“The difference that separates us from third place is big,” Rossi admits.
“Everyone has this goal, but it’s like aiming for the moon. The minimum would be to finish fourth and close the gap to third place.”