Alpine was already braced for a low-key start to the season after a late concept change, which meant it had initially made a sideways step over the winter while its rival teams were full steam ahead with bringing improvements to their cars.

But main team Famin admitted the nature of their struggles in Bahrain were still a “shock”, with Alpine effectively the slowest team on the 2024 grid, which was also the case in Saudi Arabia.

In the wake of resignations by tech director Matt Harman and head of aero Dirk de Beer, that horror start emboldened the Enstone squad’s leadership to revamp the structure of its technical team.

Instead, Alpine is implementing a McLaren-style three-pillared approach with technical directors for aerodynamics, engineering and performance.

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“It was a shock because we were really expecting a difficult start of the season, we knew this, and this is what we said during the launch of our car,” Famin said.

“But to be on the last row in the qualifying was a shock, to be honest. And it just confirmed the need of changing in our team, and we made the change.”

“We really want to bring to the factories what we have done trackside by the end of the last season. I mean, changing the mindset, unleashing the creativity and having three technical directors makes the organization much more horizontal, much less vertical.

“More activity, more agility, and really the motto is really to develop our people.”

Bruno Famin, Team Principal, Alpine F1 Team

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Famin believes the new structure will also yield benefits this season as the team scrambles to bring performance to its re-developed A524.

“The car is totally new,” Famin said. “We have developments coming.

“Of course, understanding what the problems are is key to solving it. And we have a quite clear idea of ​​what the problems are and we are really working hard.

There is potential in this car. We have something coming for sure, but we also need to change our way of developing the car, maybe racing the car as well.

“We need to really change our approach, our general approach on everything.”

To add insult to injury Pierre Gasly retired from the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after just one lap with a gearbox problem, which Famin acknowledged “cost Pierre valuable track time.”
Teammate Esteban Ocon finished the race in 13th after being artificially kept in the mix by Haas driver Kevin Magnussen holding up a train of cars behind him.
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