Alpine censure rival PU manufacturers for breaking ‘gentlemen’s agreement’

Michelle Foster
Alpine A523 mechanical detail of the front wing. Belgian July 2023

Alpine A523 mechanical detail of the front wing.

Alpine have withdrawn their proposal to gain engine parity with Bruno Famin citing the “position held by” rival teams and the FIA as the reason.

Although Alpine went into this season with former boss Laurent Rossi saying their engine is in “the ballpark of a tenth with the best”, the FIA subsequently analysed the performance of the four engines on the grid – Renault, Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull – and declared the Renault power unit had a “notable performance gap” to its rivals.

That was reported to be around 15-25Kw or 20-33hp.

Alpine noted ‘positions held by the FIA and other power unit manufacturers’

The FIA statement added: “On the basis of the commitment of the PU manufacturers, and of the performance differences reported above, the F1 Commission discussed ways to remedy this discrepancy.

“The Power Unit Manufacturers represented at the commission agreed to give a mandate to the Power Unit Advisory Committee to consider this topic and bring proposals back to the commission.”

Alpine reportedly put forward suggestions of their own with Auto Motor und Sport reporting that Alpine and their parent brand Renault calculated a deficit in the region of 30 horsepower from their turbo compared to rival manufacturers.

They proposed upping their fuel usage as one way to bridge the gap, citing that the freeze is only valid under the rules if all PUs are within two per cent.

That, however, was said to have been rejected by rival teams and the FIA with reporting that Renault have now withdrawn their proposal.

According to the publication, Alpine decided that since rival teams weren’t going to back them, “despite what had previously been arranged under the good faith understanding”, it would be best for them to focus on building a better engine for the 2026 season. recommends

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Interim Alpine team boss Bruno Famin confirmed the report.

“Following discussions with the FIA regarding engine equalisation, we, as a power unit manufacturer, actively made the decision not to take the matter further, making note of the positions held by the FIA and other power unit manufacturers,” he said.

“The topic of engine equalisation was initially brought forward by the FIA during the F1 Commission meeting in July, after which we reviewed what options we had and what performance upgrades could be made in line with the regulations and the gentlemen’s agreement between the PU manufacturers.

“We quickly reached the conclusion that it was not worth our time and effort.

“Moreover, for such a small performance gain, it would be a distraction in our efforts towards the development of the 2026 PU project.”

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