Renault has replaced the CEO of its sports car division Alpine for the first time since the brand’s entry into F1.
As CEO, Rossi’s responsibilities for the Alpine brand extended far beyond its F1 team. However he had a significant bearing on the operation and strongly criticised the team following the shaky start to its latest season.
Alpine claimed a surprise victory in 2021, its first season in F1, and went on to finish fifth in the championship. It moved up a place to fourth the following year, but also lost the services of both Fernando Alonso and junior driver Oscar Piastri to rival teams.
Its progress has stalled this year as Aston Martin began the season with a much quicker car and McLaren surprisingly passed them in the standings at Silverstone. In between Rossi sharply criticised the team following error-strewn performances in Bahrain and Baku, two of the first four rounds of the season.
Following the last race at Silverstone, Alpine promoted Bruno Famin as vice president for motorsports. Otmar Szafnauer, Alpine’s team principal, reports to him.
Krief, who has taken over from Rossi, joined Alpine just five months ago. He previously worked for Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Ferrari.
Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo said: “I would like to thank Laurent for his unwavering commitment over the last two years at the helm of Alpine. Laurent has set out a clear and ambitious strategy for the brand. He has put Alpine in the best possible position to achieve its long-term goals. Alpine is now ready to enter a new phase of its development and to become a brand of the future.
“Philippe combines a long industry experience, great technical knowledge with the leadership qualities that are key to the success of our project, including the launch of the brand’s new vehicles starting next year. I fully trust Philippe and his team to take Alpine to new heights.”
Last month the Alpine team announced an investment group including Ryan Reynolds and other celebrities had acquired a 24% stake in the team valued at €200 million (£170m).
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