Alpine design director Anthony Villain has explained that the rebranded Formula 1 team’s newly-revealed interim predominantly-black livery pays tribute to the company’s first grand prix prototype of the mid-1970s, which was the precursor of the 1977 Renault RS01.
The definitive Alpine livery will not be revealed until next month’s F1 team launch, with a mixed reaction to the initial look and some on social media disappointed that it was not more spectacular.
It’s not clear how similar to the interim livery the final livery will be and if the ‘Alpine Blue’ colour that is most closely associated with Alpine competition cars will be used.
As well as the nod to the plain black look of the Alpine Renault A500 that was designed in 1975 and made its testing debut the following year, Villain explained that different perspectives of the car showcase the two sides of the Anglo-French F1 team.
While it is French-owned, the Alpine F1 team continues to be based at Enstone in the United Kingdom, with the engine side at Renault’s Viry-Chatillon to the south of Paris.
“It is a magnificent Formula 1 [car], in line with the design philosophy of the brand,” said Villain. “It expresses agility, lightness, always with elegance.
“We can see the first ingredient of the graphic identity of our team, in particular our emblem, the ‘A’, and this tricoleur blue, white and red.
“It’s interesting because when you look at the car from the side, it evokes the French flag. But when you look at it from above, the graphics evoke the British flag.
“This is a detail that we like a lot because it symbolises the historic collaboration between our teams.
“And the black colour? Well, you tell me. That’s a tribute to the group’s first Formula 1 protoype in 1975, which before it became a Renault was an Alpine. And this car was black and called A500.
“It is a kind of homecoming for Alpine, as well as a dream that is finally coming true, to race in F1, to propel the brand into the future and give it the international influence it deserves.”
This will be the first time Alpine has raced in Formula 1, although the brand has enjoyed success at Le Mans – most famously with victory for the Renault Alpine A442B in 1978 and, more recently, with three wins in the LMP2 class using rebadged Oreca chassis.