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Alpine F1 Q&A: Everything you need to know as a renowned team is getting ready for the 2021 car launch


Answer key questions as the Alpine F1 – formerly Renault – prepares to launch its new era and new car on Tuesday; The A521 unveil can be viewed at 3 p.m. on Sky Sports F1 and our digital platforms

Last updated: 03/01/21 17:23 pm

Why has Renault changed its name?

Renault is a recognized brand in F1, ranking sixth in terms of team-started races (400) and accumulating more than 200 victories in the sport when you consider their time as a manufacturer and supplier of engines. But after five seasons returning to F1 under the Renault name, the company as a whole decided to change focus in F1 with a brand and name change.

The Renault group – which spoke of a “Renaulution” with radical changes in its strategy – wishes to promote the Alpine brand, “symbol of French excellence”, as the powerful speaker for its range of road cars. And to put it simply, F1 is the perfect way to achieve this.

This means you can get used to Alpine F1 being a team name on the grid, although it will still be a ‘Renault’ engine.

What exactly is Alpine?

Although a new name for F1, Alpine has been making racing and sports cars since the 1950s and – after being acquired by Renault in 1973 – has worked closely with fellow French manufacturers ever since. The Alpine name was used periodically for Renault’s rally and endurance programs, and an Alpine-Renault won the 1973 World Rally Championship and the 1978 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Alpine ceased production in 1995 but the brand was relaunched in 2017, before Renault decided to give its brand the ultimate platform in F1.

Will there be a big change in the livery?

Renault has raced in yellow and black since returning to F1 in 2016, but the Alpine A521 will be one of the few cars on the grid this year with a major livery overhaul. A black “ winter livery ” with the colors of the French tricolor and an Alpine “ A ” on the rear of the car has already been teased – and there is expected to be a brand new, and mostly blue, look at the launch.

Alpine F1 Q&A: Everything you need to know as a renowned team is getting ready for the 2021 car launch

Alpine revealed ‘winter livery’ for the A521 in January – but changes are expected

Why the blue? Well, Renault’s Alpine motorsport cars have always been this color, on the one hand, while it has been made clear since the Alpine place in 2021 was confirmed that the colors of the French flag would be prominent on the new car. So, get ready for some red and white too.

A blue livery also makes sense given the great winter signing of Alpine, a certain double Renault F1 world champion this season who won his 2005 and 2006 crowns in this color…

Who are the pilots?

Fernando Alonso’s return to F1 after two years of absence is a blockbuster for Alpine and gives them maximum importance in their first season. Alonso is the perfect replacement for Daniel Ricciardo, who left for McLaren, and his partner Esteban Ocon – the junior Mercedes who did not quite reach the heights expected of him in his first Renault season last year.

Can Alonso get back in shape?

Alonso, now 39, may not have won a championship in 15 years, nor a race in eight, but certainly appears to be as skilled as ever at the wheel in his final years in the sport with McLaren, has maintained himself in various other categories since 2019, and returns to F1 with the hope that he will always be one of the fastest drivers on the grid.

Alpine F1 Q&A: Everything you need to know as a renowned team is getting ready for the 2021 car launch

Alpine F1 Q&A: Everything you need to know as a renowned team is getting ready for the 2021 car launch 4:18
Speaking to Sky Sports News’ Craig Slater, Alpine F1 driver Esteban Ocon discusses the rally, his renowned team’s goals for 2021 and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso.

Speaking to Sky Sports News’ Craig Slater, Alpine F1 driver Esteban Ocon discusses the rally, his renowned team’s goals for 2021 and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso.

Right now, there is probably less fear about Alonso’s form on track than about his physical condition. The Spaniard was involved in a nasty bicycle accident earlier this month, leaving him with a broken jaw.

How is Alonso doing now and will he be in good shape for the start of the season?

Alpine’s last update on Alonso came when he left the hospital on February 15 and the team insist he will be ready for the new season on March 28. An upper jaw fracture typically takes around six weeks to fully heal, so they’re probably right – but he’ll potentially be quite uncomfortable during preseason testing on March 12 and 14.

Alonso, however, will also be absent from the car’s launch on Tuesday. The team said they will not be visiting their UK base in Enstone because “the health situation and the corresponding regulations in place do not allow him to do communications and marketing activities while he undertakes his trip. preparation for critical season. “

What’s new with Alpine?

There’s not just a new name, new colors and a new driver at Alpine – there are also new F1 bosses as they kick off their era. Cyril Abiteboul left, surprisingly after overseeing Renault’s project after 2016, with Laurent Rossi promoted within the company to become the new CEO of Alpine F1. Marcin Budkowski continues as the team’s executive director while Alpine’s big winter rookie was Davide Brivio, the former Suzuki MotoGP boss who arrives as race director.

What happens when Alpine launches?

Alpine launches its new car – the A521 – Tuesday at 3 p.m. and the unveiling will take place live on Sky Sports F1 and digital platforms.

Ocon, Rossi, Budkowski and Brivio will all be at Enstone and while Alonso will not be in attendance he is still expected to be part of the event.

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