F1 team boss ‘under immense pressure’ after poor start to 2024 season

Jamie Woodhouse
Traffic in Melbourne as drivers practice starts

The F1 drivers in action at the Albert Park circuit.

Sky F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz has teased Alpine upgrades on the horizon, much-needed ones as team boss Bruno Famin is apparently feeling the heat from parent company Renault.

Alpine came into F1 2024 with plenty of positivity, unveiling an A524 challenger which they claimed was new in every way bar the steering wheel, but this has not take the team forward, with the opposite in fact true. After four rounds of the season, they sit P10 and last in the Constructors’ Championship.

Alpine team boss under ‘immense pressure’ from Renault chief

It has been a rather frustrating journey for Renault since returning to the Formula 1 grid as a manufacturer, with the rebrand of their team to take on the name of their Alpine division back in 2021 producing just the one win since.

Famin took over as team principal in the summer of last year after a shock cleansing of the Alpine senior staff, as then team boss Otmar Szafnauer, sporting director Alan Permane and chief technical officer Pat Fry all departed over the Belgian Grand Prix race weekend, but now it appears the pressure is mounting on Famin.

Kravitz said upgrades are set to arrive for Alpine at the Miami Grand Prix, which for the sake of Famin, better deliver a clear step forward.

“Alpine, there are some improvements coming to the car for Miami. They’re working very, very hard at Enstone to bring some improvements to the car,” said Kravitz on his ‘Ted’s Notebook’ programme.

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“Alpine and Enstone, you’ll need some speed, because today [race day at the Japanese Grand Prix] was not good, but not – according to Pierre Gasly – through his fault. He got hit on the second restart and lost 30 points of downforce.

“So while it was a great opportunity for Esteban Ocon on the restart, because he restarted P13, both went hard tyre for the restart, but Gasly got damage and couldn’t one-stop, had to go onto the medium and then again for three stops Pierre Gasly, such was the damage to his floor from that contact at the second restart.

“Esteban Ocon, not such a bad race, also couldn’t make the one-stop work, so didn’t, but finished P15.

“But you’ve got to say, I spoke to Bruno Famin, the Alpine team boss on Friday, he is going to be coming under immense pressure as the man responsible for this very slow car at the moment.

“He explained it by saying the usual stuff, that they’re changing processes and changing design concepts. But other than that that is true, it doesn’t mean that the pressure will be any less on the boss, because Luca de Meo, the head of Renault, who owns the team, will want performance and answers.

“They’re not in this, Renault, they’re not in Formula 1 to finish 15th and 16th.”

Ocon’s P13 in Saudi Arabia and that same result for Gasly in Australia is as good as it has got for Alpine so far in F1 2024.

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