Published On: Mon, Mar 18th, 2024

Alpine branded ‘absolutely embarrassing’ as Ryan Reynolds-backed team tipped to quit F1 | F1 | Sport

Eddie Jordan has launched a scathing attack on Alpine, the team backed by several high-profile investors such as Ryan Reynolds, after their disastrous start to the new Formula One season. The French outfit have finished no higher than 13th this year and look to have one of the slowest cars on the grid, while there has also been a mass exodus of staff in recent months.

Former team principal Otmar Szafnauer, sporting director Alan Permane, technical director Matt Harman and head of aerodynamics Dirk de Beer have all departed Alpine over the last 12 months. The car is also widely reported to be overweight, with The Race suggesting that the A542 may be as much as 11 kilograms over the 798kg minimum limit.

Speaking on the Formula For Success podcast, Jordan did not pull any punches as he branded Alpine ‘absolutely embarrassing’ and pinpointed Szafnauer’s exit as the moment which started their downfall.

“They got rid of Otmar prematurely, it was a mistake,” said Jordan. “He was a talented person who knew how to keep that team in the right direction. At the moment they are the most floundering team, it is absolutely embarrassing. I find it embarrassing to watch [Pierre] Gasly and [Esteban] Ocon who are capable of winning races.”

Jordan suggested that Alpine could pull out of F1 within a year if their struggles continue, saying: “Do I see Alpine there next year? Absolutely not, not a chance. It’s wide open for a sale. Renault have pulled back for it, they don’t want to spend the money on the engine. The engine for 2026 is such a big outlay that it’s frightening them.

“Even though the value of the team, they talk about £1billion. Alpine have been disgraceful in not being able to perform for their drivers, for their team, to give them that car to compete in the championship. It’s unacceptable. I wouldn’t put up with it. Shocking.”

Alpine recently welcomed a number of high-profile celebrity backers including Reynolds, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Rory McIlroy, Anthony Joshua and Patrick Mahomes. However, it seems they will need to improve their on-track performances as quickly as possible in order to keep their new investors happy.

Both of their drivers will be out of contract at the end of the season, meaning there is a chance that Alpine will need to recruit two new ones for 2025. Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon have recently been linked with potential moves elsewhere, with the latter said to be among the candidates to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes.

The staff exodus at Alpine has largely been blamed for their poor recent showings, but interim boss Bruno Famin believes that change was necessary in spite of their dreadful form this season. Speaking after last month’s Bahrain Grand Prix, Famin said: “To be on the last row was a shock, to be honest.

“It just confirmed the need of changing in our team and we made the change. I think we have to remember also that we were at the first race of the season, which is very long. The car is totally new. We have developments coming. We will work hard in developing that car but, of course, understanding what the problems are is key to solving them.”

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