Alpine still “moving up” despite “complicated” start to 2023 – CEO

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In the round-up: Renault’s CEO is pleased with the progress their team has shown in Formula 1 this year, despite being on course for a lower position in the constructors’ championship than they achieved in 2022.

In brief

Alpine still “moving up” despite “complicated” start to 2023 – CEO

Alpine is still making progress in its plan to move up the grid in Formula 1 despite slipping back at the start of 2023, says Renault CEO Luca de Meo.

The team finished fourth in the constructors’ championship last year but lies fifth in the standings after the first eight rounds this year. However De Meo remains satisfied with the progress they are making.

“The team is moving up. Two years ago we were a distant sixth, really. We fought against AlphaTauri, that was the fifth car but they only had one driver. Last year we finished fourth.

“This year it’s a little bit complicated at the beginning of the season but it’s getting back into order. I hope we can just continue.”

Although the team has fallen behind rivals Aston Martin, De Meo said they are still making gains on their rivals. “We have a roadmap,” he explained, “it’s progress that you build one step at a time because it takes time to find the people, find the resources to complement our team because our team is slightly smaller than top teams.”

Aston Martin to apply F1 tech to future EVs

Aston Martin says it will apply technical knowledge gained from its F1 team into its future electric vehicles.

Aston Martin Performance Technologies, which consults on behalf of the F1 team, will apply its knowledge gained from F1 operations to the brands future cars following a powertrain and battery agreement with Lucid Group. The company intends to adapt active aerodynamics and drag reductions systems in an effort to increase efficiency and prolong battery life and range.

Tsunoda to join Red Bull Nurburgring event

AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda will join Red Bull reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo and retired four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel as part of Red Bull’s ‘Formula Nurburgring’ event at the Nordschleife in September.

Tsunoda will drive a Honda NSX Evo GT3 car on a demonstration run around the 20 kilometre circuit.

“I’ve never driven at the Nurburgring before, so I’m really looking forward to the event in September,” said Tsunoda. “The Nordschleife is a legendary circuit, I just experienced it on the Gran Turismo videogame and already enjoyed it a lot.”

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Comment of the day

With Hitech confirming they have applied to enter Formula 1 in 2026 with support from billionaire businessman Vladimir Kim, @photogcw recalls a well-worn motorsport saying:

How does a billionaire become a millionaire? Start a race team.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Dan N, Gdog and Melody!

On this day in motorsport

  • 30 years ago today Emerson Fittipaldi won the CART IndyCar race at Portland by four seconds from points leader Nigel Mansell.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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12 comments on “Alpine still “moving up” despite “complicated” start to 2023 – CEO”

  1. ”They only had one driver” – What a dig at Tsunoda, even if effectively accurate depiction.
    Also, regarding him, I guess driving at Nordscheilfe is okay because he isn’t in championship-capable machinery.

    1. @jerejj that was my first thought. Max isn’t allowed, but we don’t mind if Yuki ends up in a hedge somewhere.

      I do love the way Yuki talks with such honesty. Sometimes he sounds like he just landed on earth yesterday. He’s knowledge of the Nordschleife is ‘I’ E just tried it on Gran Turismo’.

    2. ”They only had one driver” – What a dig at Tsunoda, even if effectively accurate depiction.

      Oh, I thought it was a reference to Tsunoda as the driver and Gasly as a crash test dummy.

    3. I like it, people rarely speak honestly in f1.

  2. Looks like Luca de Meo found Abiteboul’s book of phrases and took a page from it.
    Since Renault came back in the hybrid era they have been talking about future competitiveness and convergence.
    On the basis of what they said they should have been challenging the top teams for wins and the championship in 2020/21..

  3. RandomMallard
    27th June 2023, 10:34

    I am slightly worried about the increasing valuation of F1 teams. Not only does it make it potentially much harder for new entrants into the sport, but I do worry that this is not going to last forever. It could be a case of all it takes would be a small wobble – potentially less growth than expected, or a decrease in viewership/engagement – and the whole thing could come crashing down.

    For the record, I am absolutely not an expert in economics or business. But this amount of growth in such a short amount of time does have me somewhat anxious. After all, it’s only 5 years since Force India were bought out for ~$120 million + ~$20 million in debt, and 3 years since Dorilton bought Williams for $152 million. Of course, both of these teams were in pretty dire states at the time, but that’s still an order of magnitude lower than what is being offered (or valued) now, which does seem very weird to me, as an outsider to finance and stuff

    1. I agree. Especially that the cost cap seems to have accelerated that growth. I can’t see any means for the Liberty or the FIA to keep a lid on it as such even if they wanted to.

      With every new valuation, it sort of dilutes the dilution fee is about the only real positive I can see. At this rate, who (if anyone) gets that extra grid spot, 200m is beginning to look like nothing compared to what the outfit could be worth in ten years time.

      *if this trend continues

    2. So long as F1 pays out top dollar to uncompetitive teams merely for showing up, owning a slot in that definitely-not-a-cartel is the real prize.

      Note how many teams barely have any big recognisable sponsors that market their products to ‘consumers’.

    3. It’s worth bearing in mind the model that Liberty are aiming to somewhat replicate, the American franchise model, is vastly different to what we’re used to. Couple of data points that although not directly relatable to F1 currently, would definitely whet the appetite of any investors looking at the current entry price to F1:

      2021: In a down year post-pandemic, the NFL shared $11Bn across the 32 franchises with each team picking up $345m in cash (teams then generate their own revenue (up to $700m) on top of that)

      2010: Michael Jordan buys majority stake in Charlotte Hornets (NBA) for $275m
      2023: Michael Jordan sells stake with Hornets (2nd-worst in NBA) valued at $3Bn

      1. Which sort of begs the question why are Renault open to buy ins? They’re presumably happy to stick around in the cost cap era, and considering the terms on which they came back as a works team compared to the terms they have now.

        Even if they’re not too fussed about winning, the F1 team can’t really be a financial burden for them.

        1. I would think that is about Renault not being in a position to invest that money towards F1 themselves at the moment @bernasaurus – remember, they are having to do a LOT to get going on EVs, have to worry about their manufacturing partner Nissan not doing well at all and restructurizing the ownerships of that, as well as rounding up their considerable Russian assets – so it makes sense to have some external finances going directly into the F1 team, as well as the PR effect to try and get some value out of the team.

    4. Good comment. A thing to remember is that something is worth that someone will pay for it; until a team is sold this is all speculation. We’ve seen this sort of thing with house prices here in the US; 20% increases year on year until something happens then a crash follows. If an ‘investor’ is buying a team only because they think it will be worth more when sold on, we have a problem, especially if it some short term pump and dump group. I think every team should now be making a profit with the cost cap, Liberty payments, and sponsors (except Williams with a bare car); the resistance to allowing new teams in says it all.

      The American market, which is what Liberty seem to be aiming at with Drive, Las Vegas, Miami, etc., is fickle. Two years ago only a few hundred thousand Yanks watched F1 – it could go back to that very quickly.

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