“There Was a Reason Behind” Abiteboul’s Alpine F1 Exit: Fernando Alonso

Published 04/12/2021, 6:30 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Alpine’s Fernando Alonso during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Fernando Alonso owes a large part of his comeback into the F1 fold to former Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul. However, before their journey even began, Cyril departed from the team as Group Renault initiated a major reshuffle among its management.

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Did Abiteboul’s departure cast second thoughts into Alonso’s mind? The Spaniard rubbished such talks.

The two-time world champion clearly states that his job is to drive for Alpine. And as such, that means he is fully committed to the team irrespective of who the team boss is.

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He said, “It’s true that last year Cyril was team principal and the president De Meo changed a bit the management. You just try to work the best you can with all your bosses and try to help the team as much as you can.”

Fernando Alonso has no qualms with the management’s decision over Cyril Abiteboul

The Alpine F1 driver added, “I felt ok last year with Cyril, I feel very good this year with the structure we have. So I think if the changes were made by the president, there was a reason behind it and we all support that decision.”

Having moved Cyril away from the F1 circus, Alpine opted not to replace him and put someone into the role of team boss. Instead, they decided to scrap the idea of having an official team principal altogether.

Formula One F1. Bahrain Grand Prix. Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain. Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in action during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

This year, they will split the responsibilities of team principal amongst the team’s senior management. That means Marcin Budkowski (executive director) and Davide Brivio (racing director) will inherit the responsibilities of Abiteboul.

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However, under their new leadership, Alpine’s maiden F1 race didn’t really go to plan. The Enstone-based team left Bahrain with zero points to their name. Alonso, making his return, looked good for a spot in the top 10 until he encountered break issues. His teammate Esteban Ocon finished the race in P13.

Despite their poor start, the team claims to have a plan in place. Whether that plan helps them get a strong foothold on the midfield battle, only time will tell.

But their immediate focus would be to get some points on the board come this Sunday. Will they open their tally in Imola? We shall soon see.

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Ronan Carvalho

1063 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

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