Turmoil at Alpine: Brivio’s departure and Gasly’s candid confessions

In a year riddled with turmoil and upheaval for Alpine, the Renault-owned Formula 1 team, the latest news only adds to the narrative of instability. The team confirmed the departure of Davide Brivio, a key figure who struggled to transition from a successful MotoGP career to the high-pressure world of F1. After a challenging year as racing director in 2021, Brivio’s role shifted to ‘director of racing expansion projects,’ a move signaling his diminishing influence within the team. Amidst these internal shuffles, Brivio’s effort to rejoin MotoGP with Honda was unsuccessful, leading him to an introspective moment: “I am grateful to Alpine for accommodating my wish to pursue other opportunities which may arise in the future – and I hope that they will.”

This latest exit from Alpine is part of a broader story of a team in flux, with a notable dip in performance and reliability, and an alarming exodus of top staff. Marco Canseco, a correspondent for Marca, pointedly observes, “There is no more Fernando Alonso, Laurent Rossi, Otmar Szafnauer, Pat Fry, or even Alan Permane, who had been with the team for more than 34 years in various different names.” The question hanging in the air is what lies ahead for this historic team, as speculation about future partnerships with Andretti or a shift to mere engine supply post-2026 circulates in the paddock.

In the midst of these challenges, Alpine’s new recruit, Pierre Gasly, who made the jump from Alpha Tauri, spoke candidly about his difficult first season with the team at a PR event this week in Madrid. Reflecting on the year, Gasly said, as quoted by L’Equipe, “We’re coming out of a season that was hard for everyone. There are clearly things to improve. There is potential which I can notice but it was not well exploited this year. We need to get back on a better footing for next season.” His transition from the Red Bull family was made with high hopes, a sentiment he expressed to AFP news agency, “It is true that F1 is entering a new dimension with all the races sold out, which is nothing like when I arrived in the sport in 2016.” He further admitted, “It would be easier to enjoy it if we were fighting at the front. So I really hope that we are able to turn the page on this season and come back stronger next year.”

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