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Alpine restructure after dismal Bahrain GP F1 season opener

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The Alpine F1 Team announced “organisational changes across its technical teams” after a dismal start to the 2024 Formula 1 World Championship campaign for the French outfit and their drivers, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon.

The all-Alpine back row on the Sakhir grid for the season-opening race told a sorry tale for a once-great F1 World Champion team aka Renault.

The French team has been a revolving door of staff from Fernando Alonso and Oscar Piastri jumping ship in good time, before Otmar Szafnauer, Pat Fry and Alan Permane were sent packing mid-season, last year – the announcement was bizarrely made at the Belgian GP. More recently Davide Brivio departed and now technical director Matt Harman and aerodynamics head Dirk de Beer are also looking for work.

This year’s offering, the overweight and underpowered Alpine A524 did its drivers no favours in the race either, a lap and more behind the winner, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, with Ocon leading home Gasly, P17 and P18 respectively.

Alpine Team Principal, Bruno Famin said in a statement: “We have decided to make these organisational changes as we can clearly see that we are not where we want nor need to be in terms of performance level and it is time to take another step in terms of organisation and people.

“The new three-pillared structure with three Technical Directors, each specialising in different areas, will bring better work and collaboration across our technical areas and contribute to delivering performance from the factories to the race track.

“I trust fully in the abilities of Joe, David and Ciaron to work closely together in bringing the team the performance and improvements that it needs.

“Finally, I would like to thank Matt and Dirk for their efforts over the last couple of years at the team and wish them the very best in the next chapter of their careers,” added Famin, who was promoted to TP last month.

Heading to Round 2 this weekend, with little time between races to evolve the package and the high-speed Jeddah Circuit, at the forthcoming Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, could bring a lot more pain for Gasly and Ocon.

Statement: BWT Alpine F1 Team announces organisational changes across its technical teams

4th March 2024. BWT Alpine F1 Team today introduces a series of organisational changes throughout its technical teams where it will take a new three-pillared approach. The team has created three specialised technical roles: Technical Director (Performance), Technical Director (Aerodynamics) and Technical Director (Engineering), replacing the previous structure of a singular Technical Director.

The decision comes after a period of disappointing results in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, where the team has fallen from finishing fourth in the 2022 Championship to sixth in 2023, missing several key targets in its ambitions to reach the front of the grid.

The team announces Joe Burnell as Technical Director (Engineering), David Wheater as Technical Director (Aerodynamics) and Ciaron Pilbeam as Technical Director (Performance). The three will work closely together and report to Team Principal Bruno Famin, with immediate effect.

On a power unit side, the technical team in Viry is led by Technical Director (Power Unit) Eric Meignan who continues to work on the 2026 PU project. The team can also confirm the start of the tenures of Chief Operating Officers John Woods at Enstone and Audrey Vastroux at Viry-Chatillon to continue the development of the factories behind the Formula 1 project.

BWT Alpine F1 Team’s Technical Director Matt Harman and Head of Aerodynamics Dirk de Beer have chosen to leave the team to seek new challenges. The team thanks Matt and Dirk for their efforts at the team and wishes them the best in their future endeavours.