More Alpine exodus as Bob Bell defects to Aston Martin

More Alpine exodus as Bob Bell defects to Aston Martin

Alpine has suffered another blow after Bob Bell confirmed his exit from the Enstone-based outfit for the role of Executive Director at Aston Martin.

Former Renault technical director Bob Bell has announced his departure from the Alpine F1 team, where he served as an advisor, to become the technical executive director of rival team Aston Martin.

With the new deal, the 65-year-old will be reunited with Fernando Alonso, who won two world titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006 and joined Aston Martin from Renault-owned Alpine last season.

Bell has worked at Alpine on a part-time basis since 2018 working in a non-technical role for the outfit’s Labs, which explores the use of racing technology in other fields. The project he had been working on had ended.

However, he will now be under the management of Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack in a new senior leadership position where he will be in charge of all technical, engineering, and performance-related operations.

Over his forty-year motorsport career, Bell has held senior technical positions at McLaren, Renault, and Mercedes. As such, he brings a wealth of Formula 1 experience to Aston Martin.

“I have been impressed by the progress Aston Martin Aramco has made in recent years,” Bell said. “The opportunity to play my part in that journey is incredibly exciting and I look forward to working with the great technical leaders at Silverstone.

“The scale and ambition of this project is highly motivating. I am a racer, and I see the hunger and determination powering this team. I look forward to playing my part with Mike and the rest of the team.”

Speaking of the new hiring, Team Principal Mike Krack added: “I am delighted to welcome Bob Bell to Aston Martin Aramco. This is a key appointment to ensure we are optimising everything we do as a team and focusing on the right performance areas.

“Bob’s track record in the sport speaks for itself and his experience will help us continue to make steps forward on the exciting journey we are on.”

Bell is the latest in a list of experienced staff to leave Enstone-based Alpine. The team has been facing a mass exodus since last summer after an entire senior leadership group—principal Otmar Szafnauer, chief executive Laurent Rossi, sporting director Alan Permane, and chief technical officer Pat Fry—all left within a span of two weeks.

The second phase of mass exits saw former racing director Davide Brivio leave at the end of December to rejoin MotoGP while technical director Matt Harman and aerodynamics head Dirk de Beer left this month.

According to Alpine, Bell decided to leave a few weeks ago and the team wished him well.

“He will always remain a friend of the team especially after his long and rich history with Enstone,” a team representative stated.

Alpine suffered a disappointing start to the season in Bahrain with both cars starting from the bottom of the field where Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly placed 17th and 18th, respectively. The team started the season with a car that is overweight and lacking in downforce after they decided to change their design philosophy.

The team fell from fourth in 2022 to sixth overall last season and are currently bottom of the standings.

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