Alpine F1 Rule Out Making Fernando Alonso Number 1: “Healthy Competition and That’s It”

Published 03/05/2021, 7:15 AM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Fernando Alonso of Spain and Renault Sport F1 poses for a photo with his 2005 F1 title winning Renault R25 and members of the Renault team from the same year during the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)


Alpine have undergone a series of changes behind the scenes which has seen them change the team name, management structure, and even the driver lineup with Fernando Alonso joining up. New Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi is bullish that the two drivers will be treated equally with no preferential treatment.

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Alpine have brought back wily operator Fernando Alonso to help lead them into the new era. The Spaniard makes his return to a team where he had the most success in his career. 

Since leaving the French team in 2006 for McLaren, he has yet to emulate that success.

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Fernando Alonso, not the clear number one according to Alpine CEO

In an interview (translated via Google), Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi on being asked about who the number one driver would be was very adamant that won’t be the case. 

He said, “There is no such thing as a number one and number two driver. I also don’t think that  exists in many teams, to be honest, at least not in ours.”

He felt the number one chatter seeks to remove responsibility from the other driver. He said, “The drivers have to be as fast as possible and will challenge each other clearly. It’s like a healthy competition and that’s it. There are no instructions and no number one driver.”

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – Fernando Alonso of Spain and McLaren F1 walks in the Paddock after practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

This clearly shows how the French team will seek to address the number one driver speculation. They are looking to put both Alonso and Esteban Ocon on an even keel and are looking past Alonso’s past achievements and history within the team.

What can everyone expect from the Spaniard?

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Alonso will get the opportunity to make a return to F1 after two years. In that time, he has competed in the Indy Car series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This shows the level of competition he has been a part of away from F1.

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – Fernando Alonso of Spain and McLaren F1 walks in the Paddock during previews ahead of the Formula One Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

How the Spaniard adapts to the Alpine car will be an interesting watch. He clearly has the hunger and desire to fight in F1. This maybe the most important factor in how he competes in that car.

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Ashish Thomas

211 articles

Ashish Thomas is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having followed motorsports since age 5, Ashish holds an enviable knowledge of F1 history. Ashish holds extensive experience in sports writing, having previously worked for SportsQuest and Fansided.

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