Davide Brivio, Suzuki

Suzuki “shocked” as Moto GP team boss Brivio leaves ahead of expected move to Alpine

2021 F1 season

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Moto GP team Suzuki says it is shocked by the departure of principal Davide Brivio, who is expected to join Alpine’s Formula 1 programme.

Brivio has has been with the team since 2013 and oversaw their successful 2020 campaign, which delivered championship titles for the squad and rider Joan Mir. Alpine, Renault’s rebranded Formula 1 team, is believed to be Brivio’s destination.

“A new professional challenge and opportunity suddenly came to me and in the end I decided to take it,” said Brivio. “It has been a difficult decision. The hardest part will be to leave this fabulous group of people, whom I started this project with when Suzuki rejoined the championship.

“It’s hard to say goodbye also to all the people who have arrived over the years to create this great team. I feel sad from this point of view, but at the same time I feel a lot of motivation for this new challenge – which was the key when I had to decide between renewing my contract with Suzuki or starting a completely new experience.”

Suzuki project leader Shinichi Sahara was stunned by Brivio’s decision. “Sincerely, it was shocking news for us about Davide’s departure from Team Suzuki,” he said. “It feels like somebody took a part of me, because I always discussed with him how to develop the team and the bikes, and we’ve worked together for a long time.

“In 2020 we achieved fantastic results despite the unusual and difficult situation due to Covid-19. And 2021 will be an even more important year for us to keep the momentum. Now we are trying to find the best way to cover for the ‘Davide loss’.”

Brivio’s move to Alpine is likely to see current managing director Cyril Abiteboul take over a more senior role within the team’s hierarchy.

In a further development at the team yesterday executive director Marcin Budkowski was officially appointed as one of the team’s directors in place of the outgoing Jerome Stoll.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 25 comments on “Suzuki “shocked” as Moto GP team boss Brivio leaves ahead of expected move to Alpine”

    1. Strange move.

      Has anyone from moto GP taken up a senior position in F1 before? To me there doesn’t seem to be a lot of synergy between the two other than both involve racing.

      1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        7th January 2021, 11:08

        Strange moves in a strange world are normal!

        Donald trump wasn’t (and still isn’t) a politician.

        Big changes are afoot in F1. Expect more.

        I’m starting to think Hamilton won’t resign with Merc for any more than one season!

      2. A team boss isn’t sitting on the drawing board. Jean Todt came to F1 through rallying and then endurance racing. I think in those positions it’s motorsport knowledge in general, not specific knowleadge to each discipline.

        Brivio is a superb catch. He turned Suzuki upside down. I hope he’s able to do the same at Renault/Alpine.

        1. All very good points @fer-no65. Personally I don’t follow MotoGP, but I’ve seen it mentioned that he is defenitely of that kind of calibre.

          Since Alpine needs someone to build the team into a force if they want to give Alonso what they promised him and the CEO of the company, they need a teambuilder who can achieve.

    2. I would have assumed that this meant Cyril Abiteboul would be ushered out, so I was very surprised by the penultimate line. The Regie seem to love him, so he’s obviously doing something right.

      1. Renault stopped being a régie in 1996, when it was privatised.

    3. Drivers never made a successful jump from 4 wheels to 2 and vice versa. And a few good ones have tried.

      But team manager or racing director is basically the same job be it either 2 or 4 contact patches. Managing people, strategy calls, on track action.

      Maybe he’ll find a lot of differences in the atmosphere and politics involved. Maybe less fun more stress than he got used too. There’s more money, but there’s this catch. Lots of gray hair on the way…

      1. John Surtees might disagree with you on that first paragraph.

        1. Indeed, Surtees clearly did do the job. And Damon Hill would probably also like a word about that.

          1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
            7th January 2021, 14:37

            Mike Hailwood had podiums in F1 and was quite often quicker than his team mate, multiple world champion and double indy winner Emerson Fittipaldi. Not too shabby.

            Johnny Cecotto was pretty good too. I’d have like to seen him in a competitive car.

    4. His name sounds like a made-up name from someone who doesn’t have the rights to use Flavio Briatore name :).

      1. Very good. I’m sure Brivio is on the F-Wan game.

        As a Frenchman I never loved the Renault brand but still it is more marketable than the Alpine name. Alpine in France is only known by boomers watching rallying in the 80´s when it was popular; so there’s no relevance 40 years later but the will to sell a few more luxury cars to a few. I don’t get it, so please enlighten me.

        1. yeah, that is the point that kind of baffles me too @jeff1s, what is their idea going with Alpine. A brand that never was very well known, doesn’t really have a fanbase or somethign to build from, and was not widely loved or successful at all.

          I guess they feel they should build a performance devision. But I am struggling to see this working out well.

          1. @jeff1s and @bascb I’m not sure if I’m totally off with this one. I think it is a similar situation as back in 2012 when they rebranded themselves as Lotus. I can’t remember the exact reason behind that but if we put those three names in paper there is a clear winner which one is the least known in F1. Lotus – Renault – Alpine.

            Last time I heard from Alpine was when they re-released the A110 in 2017 and I think majority shares my view on that. But hey they won WRC championship in 1973 and they have been competing in WEC for a while now so at least it’s something..

            1. Well, Lotus certainly is well known. And Renault might not be a household name in all parts of the world, but in Europe – still a large part of the audience – it is clearly the most well known of those brands, and it is also the name of the company who actually builds the engines and funds the racing!

      2. Trust me he is real, been working in motogp for a really long yime, credited for pushing Vale to major success.
        Who would deny a 5x pay rise?

        1. @peatree I hope he will push that Alpine/Alonso pairing to the top too.

    5. Less Abiteboul at Renault is definitely good news

    6. I have an opinion
      7th January 2021, 23:03

      Has he been hired so Cyril does not have to deal with Alonso?

      1. Or maybe it’s Horner. The relationship with Red Bull is currently lost, maybe this gives Renault a chance of selling their engines.

    7. What a year Suzuki had in Motogp. They produced the sweetest handling Bike for 2020 which was competitive on every type of circuit. Now they just need more engine power and a less than 100% fit Marquez to retain the titles for 2021.

      1. @amg44 the latter seems fairly likely – it’s been confirmed by Honda that Marquez’s recovery has been quite a bit slower than hoped for, and it was reported that, back in early December, he had a third round of surgery to try and help his arm heal.

        Honda themselves have declined to give an estimate for when he might recover, but others have talked about it potentially taking a further six months to recover from that sort of operation. The big question will be whether the season starts as planned in late March – if it does, then Marquez might not be back until a third of the season is already over.

    8. Brivio is a fantastic team boss! The turnaround he oversaw at Suzuki was brilliant!

    9. János Henkelmann
      8th January 2021, 17:12

      What a relief he doesn’t join Ferrari.

      His heart rate would never recover from that…

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