Alpine boss delivers 40-minute ‘electric shock’ speech at team’s factory – report

Jamie Woodhouse
Alpine's Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon racing during the Japanese Grand Prix.

Alpine's Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon racing during the Japanese Grand Prix.

Renault CEO Luca de Meo reportedly gathered the Alpine troops for a rare and emotional speech, while seemingly putting an end to the rumours of Mattia Binotto becoming team principal.

On the track it has been a frustrating F1 2023 campaign for Alpine, a team which had their sights set on closing in on the leading teams.

Instead, while Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon have scored a podium apiece, it is McLaren and Aston Martin who have surged forward to join the ‘best of the rest’ conversation behind Red Bull, triggering Alpine into widespread changes.

Luca de Meo delivers “electric shock” Alpine speech

Shortly after Laurent Rossi had been removed from his Alpine F1 CEO role, the Frenchman having earlier in the year launched scathing public criticism of the team, Otmar Szafnauer and Alan Permane were sacked from the team principal and sporting director roles respectively over the Belgian Grand Prix race weekend.

At the same time it was also confirmed that Pat Fry would leave the chief technical officer role, assuming that same position at Williams.

It has been a turbulent season for Alpine, but as per a report from, De Meo, CEO of Alpine’s parent brand Renault, united the Enstone and Viry bases on Wednesday for an extended pep talk.

The report claims that staff were gathered at Enstone, with those at the engine base in Viry joining via video link. Gasly and Ocon were also in attendance as De Meo “reaffirmed his support and that of the group for the Formula 1 project”, also offering a roadmap for where the team goes from here.

His speech, which L’Equipe claim lasted for 40 minutes and describe as an “electric shock”, allegedly also involved confirmation that Bruno Famin, Alpine Motorsport’s vice president, who has served as interim team boss since Szafnauer’s axing, will now continue in the role on a permanent basis.

That would put a stop to rumours that former Ferrari team boss Binotto was in line to take over, Famin having said ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix that it is not about targeting a specific addition, but rather bringing the factories and current staff together. recommends

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“I’m assessing everything,” he said. “I think the changes I’ve seen so far are quite good on the track side. I’m very happy with the drivers, the job they are doing, the spirit they have.

“Of course the main point will be now to really see how we can get the same kind of spirit on the factories. And that’s really the point I’m focusing on.

“I’m not thinking about the question of people. It’s not a question of person, it’s a question of having all the people together.”

The shock sackings in Belgium arguably could make creating that unity difficult. Considering Permane was a veteran of 30 plus years at Team Enstone, it feels like nobody is immune from getting the boot.

However, De Meo is said to have assured staff who are “now following suit and moving the team forward again” are safe in their positions, though those stuck in “old patterns” will be cast aside.

How much assurance that actually gives is hard to judge.

The Renault boss reportedly also followed Famin’s call for unity, focusing on the relationship between the Enstone chassis base and Viry engine division, with a mindset of them being separate entities no longer accepted, nor will public criticism from team members be tolerated in future.

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