Former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan says Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon are “stuck” in an Alpine team which he does not foresee making progress in F1 2024, Ocon indeed admitting they look “quite slow”.
Since returning to Formula 1 as a manufacturer in 2016, progress has been slow for Renault, with their team now branded as Alpine searching for a breakthrough to escape the F1 midfield.
And the lack of success in attempting to do so led to widespread senior staff changes during 2023, team principal Otmar Szafnauer, sporting director Alan Permane, chief technical officer Pat Fry, CEO Laurent Rossi and Alpine Academy director, formerly racing director Davide Brivio all departing.
Eddie Jordan fears tough times continue at Alpine
After slipping to P6 in the 2023 Constructors’ Championship standings, Alpine are a team under serious pressure to deliver an improved showing in F1 2024, but the early signs do not appear promising.
Speaking at the Autosport International event, Sky F1 commentator David Croft said Ocon had told him that the Alpine “is a little bit slow”, a worrying admission with the F1 2024 campaign fast approaching, Alpine set to unveil their new challenger on February 7.
And former Jordan F1 team boss Eddie Jordan said he feels for both Ocon and Gasly, two “great drivers” who have to “just make the best of” a difficult situation, Jordan drawing attention to the Renault power unit as a key weakness.
“Alpine, two good drivers,” said Jordan on the Formula For Success podcast. “I have a sweet spot for Gasly. I think he tries really hard and sometimes he’s a little bit unlucky.
“Ocon, who we saw when he was at Force India, so you know, the Jordan, Force India, the Aston Martin [evolution], I’ve had a lot of good experiences with him.
“Nevertheless, do I see them making much improvement next year? Really, truthfully, no.
“I think the engine is not good enough. And two great drivers, but you know, they’re stuck in there and they just make the best of it.”
The start of 2024 means Gasly and Ocon are both into the final year of their Alpine contracts, meaning major decisions loom for team and drivers over their plans for F1 2025 and beyond.