Alpine can't afford "shitty" F1 season in 2021, says Renault CEO

Alpine cannot afford to have a “shitty season” in Formula 1 this year despite its focus on the new regulations in 2022, according to Renault CEO Luca de Meo.

Alpine can't afford "shitty" F1 season in 2021, says Renault CEO

Following the rebranding of Renault's works operation over the winter, the Alpine F1 team will make its formal debut this weekend at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso will make his F1 comeback with Alpine after two years away, partnering Esteban Ocon.

Renault finished fifth in last year's constructors' championship amid a close battle in the midfield with McLaren, Racing Point, Ferrari and AlphaTauri that looks set to continue into 2021.

Renault group chief de Meo said he wanted Alpine to build on the team's performance in 2020, and said that while a great deal of focus is being placed on next year's rule change, it could not afford to write this year off.

"For a successful season, I think we are in competition with ourselves," de Meo told select media including Motorsport.com.

"I think my expectation is that we get better and better every race. We'll try not to go back from the previous position of last year, but it will be complicated because you have teams that improved a lot.

"But I think that new spirit, having people like Fernando also coming into the team, he is a real performer.

"We are very much focusing also on 2022. For us, the real big challenge will start in 2022. But of course, we don't want to make 2021, let's say, a shitty season.

"We have Fernando, who wants to win all the time, and we have Esteban, that is young and needs to prove [himself]. He cannot waste this time, years and years, by being at the end of the grid.

"So they have a motivation. And we need to give them a good service as a team, to the drivers. So we are there to work and we will see how we can improve race after race.

"Let's see what happens. Because also the others are getting stronger and stronger."

Read Also:

De Meo took over as Renault CEO last summer, and made the decision to take the Alpine brand into F1 as part of his 'Renaulution' within the French manufacturer.

He explained how he wanted Alpine's F1 efforts to be better integrated into the wider Renault group than the team has been in recent years.

"I had the feeling that we had to integrate the Formula 1 story into a new story," de Meo said.

"So Renault Formula 1 and also Renault Sport, and also the Alpine story, they were kind of on the border of the system. When they needed support from the mothership, they would come, but actually what their comfort zone was, was to stay out of the thing.

"Alpine is one of the four pillars of the Renaulution. It is one of the four brands that we put in front of the consumer. So it's totally integrated in the mainstream strategy of the Renault group."

shares
comments

Related video

F1 teams set for crunch sprint race talks
Previous article

F1 teams set for crunch sprint race talks

Next article

The day Senna, Brundle and Bellof made their F1 debuts

The day Senna, Brundle and Bellof made their F1 debuts
Load comments
Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer Prime

Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer

OPINION: Saudi Arabia's new F1 circuit delivered a memorable first event, although not necessarily for all the right reasons. In the wake of the chaotic race, drivers voiced their concerns about the track but small changes could make significant improvements ahead of a return in four months.

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain Prime

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain

From ranking as one of the most impressive new teams to join the Formula 1 grid, Haas’s stock has plummeted along with its on-track performances over the past two seasons. Everything now hangs on whether its reforged alliance with Ferrari can deliver a better car – and whether its rookie drivers can set aside their quarrels. Oleg Karpov asks if any of these goals are achievable…

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Prime

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021