After the removal of Laurent Rossi as Alpine CEO, team principal Otmar Szafnauer and sporting director Alan Permane have departed in agreement after the conclusion of the Belgian Grand Prix last weekend.
With chief technical officer Pat Fry also moving to Williams, the attention on Enstone has been squarely focused at the depleted senior-level structure.
But Abiteboul, who served as managing director of the team under its previous Renault guise until a 2021 rebrand, reckons the team also requires a clearly defined talismanic lead driver.
In an interview with France Info, the current head of the Hyundai World Rally team stated that Alpine should look to Lewis Hamilton’s success at Mercedes or the leadership of Sebastian Vettel followed by Max Verstappen at Red Bull for inspiration.
“I cannot reword”
“When you envision Mercedes with closed eyes, Lewis Hamilton immediately comes to mind, despite the remarkable achievements of Nico Rosberg.”
“When Red Bull comes to mind, the initial association is with Sebastian Vettel’s first era, followed by Max Verstappen’s subsequent era.”
“I cannot reword.”
“In the near future, there will be a more balanced and equitable competition. The key factor that will set individuals apart is their level of ambition and determination.”
Alain Prost, Renault F1 Team Non-Executive Director with Cyril Abiteboul, Renault Sport F1 Managing Director
Photo by: Renault Sport
When Abiteboul was at the helm, the squad paired Nico Hulkenberg with Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo before placing the Australian alongside team-mate Ocon for 2020.
Abiteboul expressed concern about the ongoing changes at Alpine and the lack of a leader, which posed a threat to the team’s unity and values, both of which were currently lacking.
He stated that any alteration to a component has the potential to jeopardize the team’s unity and culture, which are the specific areas where Alpine is lacking.
“The investments have been completed, the resources have been allocated, the group’s aspirations have been set, and the corporate strategy with the Alpine brand is in place. When a team possesses all these elements, it requires something beyond them, an individual to lead and propel it forward.”
“The power of a person capable of bringing together a group of 1,000 individuals is highly cohesive.”