Alpine: Partner team would be nice but not a must have

alpine a521

Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi has admitted that they are “open” to finding a partner Formula 1 team.

McLaren, a Renault customer team between 2018 and 2020, switched over to Mercedes engines during the off-season, leaving the Renault engine base in Viry suppling just Alpine.

Speaking following the launch of the Alpine A521 last week, Rossi, who took on the role of Alpine CEO following the departure of former team principal Cyril Abiteboul, said that adding a customer team was not a “must have” and insisted that their primary focus was on “building on the current F1 team”.

“We are open to the idea, we’re not necessarily looking for one,” he said.

“I think a partner team would be nice to have but not a must have, because we’re building on the current F1 team, we need full autonomy, full independence and full dedication to the F1 team.

“Being able to reap the fruit for the business, so building a partner team, could be nice to have down the road but it’s not something we’re actively seeking at the moment.”

While suggesting that the lack of customer teams could lead to them missing out on “core development”, Rossi said that there are plenty of positives to derive from “supplying ourselves”.

“The cons could be the fact that you might lose a little bit of the core developments that you could get by having running two or several teams in parallel,” he added.

“But frankly, it could be outweighed very quickly should you have any problems.

“The pros are that we can dedicate all our efforts on designing our own engine and fitting it into our own car, which is a big pro because you’re not distracted by other activities and you can really leverage the fact that you are a manufacturer.

“I like to add the fact that one of the cons could be that if you are designated to provide [engines] to another team, if you have not been prepared for that you will need to increase the workforce consistently.

“I’m not sure it’s a very desirable effect, so at the end of the day we’re pretty happy supplying ourselves at the moment.”