Alpine refutes sale rumours amid dismal performance

Alpine refutes sale rumours amid dismal performance

Alpine has refuted rumours that they’re up for sale despite enduring a dismal start to the season as they remain at the bottom of the standings without any points.

Rumours that surfaced on Wednesday indicating that parent company Renault may consider selling Alpine F1 have been categorically refuted by the team amid a dismal start to the season.

But based on reports received in recent weeks, it appears that any potential sale of the team would probably come with a requirement that the new owner should continue to using Renault engines going forward.

With Alpine currently in last place in the constructors’ championship with zero points alongside Sauber and Williams, the first four races of the 2024 season have confirmed that the team is in a terrible situation.

But of the three, it seems to be the least competitive, and to make matters worse, it is a full-fledged works squad with automotive giant Renault backing it rather than being a customer outfit.

The team bosses set lofty goals back in February 2023 with the unveiling of their new Formula 1 car for that season. After ranking fourth in the 2022 constructors’ championship, the aim was to finish on the podium as often as possible and get closer to the top three, which at the time consisted of Red Bull, Ferrari, and Mercedes.

This was coupled with a major backing as Otro Capital which boasts a host of major sporting names as investors, including Trent Alexander-Arnold and Rory McIlroy made a huge investment in the team.

Renowned for his engagement in Wrexham, Ryan Reynolds also made an investment in Alpine through Reynolds’s Maximum Effort Investments, which is a part of Otro Capital’s 24% ownership in the outfit.

However, after a little over a year the situation has drastically changed. During that time, the team’s CEO Laurent Rossi, team principal Otmar Szafnauer, and two iconic members, technical director Pat Fry and sporting director Alan Permane, have all exited.

This made things worse as the team has dropped to the bottom of the standings rather than improving as a result of the leadership changes.

Given the complexity of the reasons, it is not unexpected that discussions about potential acquisition interest have been sparked by the Alpine’s predicament. Buying a company at its lowest value is a market norm but the team has refuted the reports.

A statement from Alpine said: “The rumours and stories about the team being for sale are false. The team is categorically not for sale.”

After taking back control of the Enstone facility in 2015, Renault began using the Alpine trademark in 2021 in an effort to revive the reputation of the legendary French sports car brand.

However, being at the bottom is not an effective strategy to sell cars, and if there are no signs of improvement anytime soon, it is not too hard to speculate that proposals to buy may be put into consideration. However, the Renault engine division’s future presents a challenge, despite the fact that finding buyers might not be an issue.

This would guarantee the survival of the team of engine experts currently developing the new turbo hybrid power unit, slated to launch in 2026. The restriction of only using the Renault engine, however, may turn off certain potential buyers as some would like to use their particular power units or those of other manufacturers with whom they have existing connections.

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