Laurent Rossi says the 2022 Formula 1 season will be an ‘exciting year’ for the BWT Alpine F1 Team as they look to build on the promise they showed in 2021 and move up the pecking order in the Constructors’ Championship.
Alpine finished fifth in the standings last year, with Esteban Ocon claiming his maiden victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix and Fernando Alonso taking his first podium since 2014 Hungarian race in the first-ever Qatar Grand Prix.
And Rossi, the Chief Executive Officer of Alpine, says they’ve created a team that he hopes will be able to push the outfit closer to the front of the field amid the many regulation changes that are coming into place in 2022.
“2022 is a very exciting year for Alpine,” said Rossi at the launch of the A522 on Monday. “We came into the sport in 2021 with one mission: to set the foundations for this year, with its massive change of regulations and huge potential for mid-size teams such as ours.
“We learned a lot; what worked for us, what didn’t, what we needed to improve, and what we needed to consolidate. On the technical side, we have reinforced our already strong management team with Matt Harman stepping up to become Technical Director and Pat Fry becoming Chief Technical Officer. This will give us a simpler approach that will make us more agile as
developments come thick and fast in the first part of the year.
“The rate of progress should be aided by an equally streamlined structure at Viry, with Bruno Famin coming on board. Bruno, from an engine background with huge experience of making different parts come together and win, is a great asset to our team.
“I’m also delighted to welcome on board Otmar Szafnauer; together we have all the ingredients to continue the upward curve we started in 2021.”
“We all need to bear in mind is that where we start isn’t important; it’s where we finish”
Rossi says there are many ambitions coming out of both Enstone and Viry ahead of the new season, but the main thing is to at least match their fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship from last season. However, he knows this will be difficult to achieve, particularly with the new aero and tyre regulations coming into effect that could shuffle the order.
“We have multiple ambitions,” he commented. “Fifth is the minimum we need to target after last year’s performance.
“So far, we have hit our targets and we are happy with the progress we are showing, but we have to be realistic that this year all the cards are thrown in the air. We don’t know where we are going to be until we all hit the track.
“However, what we all need to bear in mind is that where we start isn’t important; it’s where we finish. We need to continue to show improvement, targeting operational excellence and progress throughout the year.”
Rossi says Alpine’s involvement in Formula 1 has benefitted the whole Renault Group as it showcases just what they are capable of to a global audience. However, he knows it is important results on track are strong in order for this off-track success to continue.
“Our F1 involvement is not just important for Alpine, but also for the wider Renault Group,” said Rossi. “Firstly, it helps to elevate our technical innovations with mobility solutions tested in the most extreme laboratory imaginable.
“The addition of Bruno, with his proven track record of moving development from track to road, is very important in this regard. F1 also gives the Group a nice patina of success – it’s not as simple as win on Sunday, sell on Monday, but the exposure we receive via F1 is unquestionable.
“We’ve seen the Alpine brand exposure increase by over 300%, which is a very strong result, for potentially less financial impact than a worldwide marketing campaign. We now need to consolidate the strong start we have made.
“We have very aggressive KPIs, but we need to aim high if we are to get the most from our investment.”