Alpine suffers a major blow with two key resignations

Alpine suffers a major blow with two key resignations

Alpine has suffered yet another blow in their early-season troubles following the resignation of head of aerodynamics and technical director.

Alpine runs into serious early-season challenges with the resignations of head of aerodynamics Dirk de Beer and technical director Matt Harman off the back of a disastrous 2024 F1 season kickoff in Bahrain.

The F1 team will lose the two key figures in April after they submitted their resignations a few weeks ago, as they are currently fulfilling their contractual notice period obligations.

They made the decision before the A524’s disappointing 2024 debut on the track during qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix, which began their campaign with Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon starting from the bottom of the grid.

Although the reasons for their exit from Alpine are somewhat varied, it is evident that key team members cannot agree on anything and that their goals do not align. There are rumours of a tight and unpleasant atmosphere in the engine and chassis factories, located in Viry and Enstone, respectively.

The turbulence that already exists within Alpine’s ranks is exacerbated by the departure of key figures, particularly in light of the recent exits of Pat Fry, Alan Permane, Otmar Szafnauer, and then-CEO Laurent Rossi. This is a huge surprise considering the amount of funding invested earlier in the year.

Harman’s association with Alpine started in September 2018 following a remarkable 18-year tenure at Mercedes. De Beer, on the other hand, returned to the Anglo-French squad in 2019 after working for a number of leading Formula 1 teams, bringing a wealth of aerodynamics experience with him.

The Bahrain Grand Prix was not expected to be very exciting. Drivers Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon individually acknowledged that they could find themselves at the rear of the pack.

The Alpine duo did indeed qualify on the back row of the grid in positions 19 and 20, despite their overweight vehicle and erratic driving. Things didn’t get much better during the race, either, as Ocon and Gasly were the only ones to finish ahead of drivers who suffered significant problems during the 57-lap race.

Alpine’s trip to Jeddah for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which takes place in less than a week, won’t provide much time for learning or upgrades. However, the team will persevere through the projected storm for the first few rounds to produce a considerably better performing car in the long run.

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