How Renault’s AI can push Alpine forward in F1

Ben Johnston
Fernando Alonso on the medium Pirelli tyres. Turkey October 2021

Alpine driver Fernando Alonso up close on the medium Pirelli tyres. Turkey October 2021

Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi believes that their parent company Renault’s AI technology can help to push the Enstone-based outfit forward.

Alpine had a very strong 2021 Formula 1 season with Esteban Ocon claiming victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix, while Fernando Alonso scored his first podium finish since returning to the sport when he ended the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix on the podium in third place.

Alpine ended the year in P5 in the Constructors’ Championship on 155 points, and Laurent Rossi believes that the team is well placed for the future thanks to the support from the Renault group.

“We have the stability that the Renault group offers for five to 10 years of constant funding, and also the assets,”  Rossi is quoted by Autosport.

“The fact that Formula 1 is moving more and more towards less and less physical testing, with more and more simulations and data analysis, in the Renault group, we have AI machine learning scientists, of top-notch quality, which has been used for the past 20 years everywhere on the manufacturing side, on marketing, everywhere.

“We can summon them and have them on board to help us bring a next layer of strategy for instance, during the race, or data analysis.

“All of those things can help us bridge the gap and potentially overtake the others.”

Fernando Alonso in action for Alpine in Hungary. August, 2021.
Fernando Alonso in action for Alpine during the Hungarian Grand Prix. August, 2021.

The Enstone team last won a Championship in 2006 with Fernando Alonso and this is a place that Rossi wants to return to.

“We want to win races and possibly a championship, and that’s by the end of 2024 or 2025, depending on when the regulations period ends,” he said.

“I believe we have all the tools to get there in the specific environment.

“We reset the performance [with the new rules]: everyone starts from zero and we work under the same constraints.

“And even though some of them [teams] are related or have better resources, let’s not hide ourselves behind a figure, as it’s more or less the same game.

“So it becomes a bit easier for us to fight.

“It’s not like we put in $200 million, and they put in $500 million. $200 plus or minus something is fine, we can do it.

“Then we can leverage the experience of five years in Formula 1 as the works team, with the engine and the chassis.

“We can find and do a much better job of integrating a powerful engine into the chassis.”

 

Alpine made their intentions for future success very clear on Thursday by announcing some key changes to their technical department.

 

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