The Alpine Formula 1 team has revealed a first look at its rebrand with an interim livery on a 2020 Renault, ahead of the full launch of its new ‘A521’ car next month.
For the sixth season of Renault’s works entry, it has opted to give its niche performance sub-brand Alpine the full F1 treatment as part of a major restructuring of the company and its assets.
A revived automotive programme, including a new electric sportscar in collaboration with Lotus, plus the F1 team, Renault Sport Racing and the Renault Sport iterations of road cars will come under the ‘avant-garde’ Alpine brand.
On Thursday morning Renault revealed a first look at the Alpine F1 entity, as part of the initial announcement of details of the company’s new ‘Renaulution’ strategy in Paris.
Its interim car has a simple black livery with the French tricolore at the rear of the engine cover.
Antony Villain, Alpine’s design director, called the interim livery “the first evocation of the Alpine F1 team’s new identity”.
“Some of the structural graphic elements will remain on the racing livery while others will change,” he said. “Numerous variations on all the motorsport assets are still to come.”
— Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) January 14, 2021
The A521 name for the chassis, which will be paired to a Renault-branded engine, takes inspiration from Alpine’s traditional naming format. It may be a reference to Renault-Alpine’s prototype the A500 from the mid-1970s, updated to reflect the year of competition.
Last week it emerged long-time Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul has left the company and will not retain any role with the Alpine switch.
Abiteboul was put in charge of the formative part of the company’s plan to make the Alpine sub-brand a more substantial part of its business model, with Renault now revealing a target of profitability for Alpine by 2025.
As a result, Abiteboul was rumoured to be shifting into a less F1-focused role this year, and that speculation was intensified by ex-Suzuki MotoGP team manager Davide Brivio being linked to the Alpine CEO role.
It was also suspected that Renault’s executive director Marcin Budkowski would replace Abiteboul as team principal.
Alpine revealed last Monday that Laurent Rossi is Alpine’s CEO and will take charge of Alpine Cars, Sport, F1 and competition activities, reporting to Renault CEO Luca de Meo.
Rossi was present at the launch event and unveiled the interim livery as well as confirming a full reveal of the final 2021 car will take place next month.
But it is still unclear what this means for the leadership of the F1 team and how Budkowski and expected new arrival Brivio will fit into the structure.