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Alpine Excites Formula 1 With All-French Lineup

By Jeff Stinger

The only French Formula 1 team on the grid, Alpine, did well to beat rivals McLaren to fourth in last year’s constructors’ standings. But, with an all-French lineup and with a competent machine, the Renault-operated team has its sights on frontrunners Red Bull, Mercedes, and Ferrari. The exciting lineup gets Alpine fans and bettors excited for what’s ahead. Here’s everything you need to know about the French team ahead of the upcoming 2023 Formula 1 season.

Can Alpine break out of the midfield soon?

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All-French lineup

After spending some time racing with Manor and Force India/Racing point, the 2015 GP3 champion made his way to the Alpine team. He had a solid season with the Enstone-based team. He first recorded a win at a weather-burdened 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix and became the second driver to out-score two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso as a teammate in the following season. However, the veteran Spaniard racing driver picked up more DNFs due to mechanical-related issues. The 2022 season saw the Évreux-born man score 92 points and is good enough for eighth in the driver standings.

Ocon gets a new teammate for the 2023 campaign. With Alonso’s move to Aston Martin and the Oscar Piastri fiasco that sparked dragging controversy, Alpine looked the other way and welcomed former AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly. The 2016 GP2 series champion takes his talent to a different environment in his search for more success after spending five years with the Red Bull junior team.

It’s worth noting that the duo are childhood friends and hold identical F1 statistics. It’s the first time we’ve seen an all-French lineup on the grid at a French team since the pairing of Alain Prost and Rene Arnoux over three decades ago in 1982.

A promising path ahead

Renault took a short hiatus and returned to F1 as a works team in 2016. Shortly after, the constructor worked up a rebrand to promote their sportscar division, Alpine. They remained a midfield staple in the past few years, scoring P5 in the constructors’ standings in 2021 with the help of Ocon’s win in the Hungarian GP and a podium finish for Alonso during his comeback season. This was followed by a revamp that welcomed new team principal Otmar Szafnauer.

Red Bull, Ferrari, and Mercedes are top-tier teams way ahead of Alpine in 2022. The French constructor had a challenging start to the new F1 rules and cars but quickly gained pace by beating midfield rivals to P4 by the end of the season.

This season, reliability issues are hardly a concern for Alpine and are expected to maintain an upward trajectory closer to the big three of the sport. Given the pace advantage of the frontrunners, Alpine needs to utilize pre-season testing to fight with the leaders. Furthermore, factors like a renewed budget cap go to their advantage with a more level playing field. Breaking into the top three might be too early to say, but things look good for the French side soon.

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