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Alpine’s self-inflicted injuries

10 months ago

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Edd Straw | Journalist


9 August 2023

The team currently known as Alpine is one of the most successful in Formula 1 history, the seventh-best measured by its tally of 50 victories and combined total of seven drivers’ and constructors’ titles. Not that you’d know it from its current state of disarray or its ever-shifting identities, which have shared the victories for what’s often called ‘Team Enstone‘ in deference to its Oxfordshire headquarters.

Just for the record, the team started life in F1 as Toleman in 1981, became Benetton in 1986, moved to Enstone for the 1992 season, became Renault 10 years later, raced as Lotus between 2012 and 2015, reverted to Renault from 2016-2020 and has been called Alpine ever since.

But even for a team where stability has only ever been temporary, the sudden bloodletting during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend with the ousting of team principal Otmar Szafnauer and sporting director Alan Permane, a team veteran of 34 years, was shocking.

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