Alpine presents the new A521

Alpine Formula 1 racing team has unveiled their new 2021 race car following the rebranding from Renault over the winter break.

In a virtual launch event hosted from the Enstone base, Alpine presented the new A521 car ahead of its race debut.

2021 will see the Alpine name make its appearance in the sport after Renault opted to rebrand its works outfit as part of a restructuring of the group’s companies and marques.

The team presented an interim livery in January, incorporate the red, white and blue French tricolore colours onto a black base design that was used for private test running with older cars.

Renault finished fifth in last year’s constructors’ championship, but scored three podium finishes to mark its first appearances since returning to Formula 1 as a works outfit in 2016.

Esteban Ocon will continue with the team for a second year, having picked up his maiden Formula 1 podium with Renault last season at the Sakhir Grand Prix with a second-place finish.

Following Daniel Ricciardo’s departure to McLaren, Ocon will be joined by the returning double world champion Fernando Alonso.

Alonso is returning to the sport after two years away racing in sportscars, IndyCar and the Dakar Rally, and will embark on his third separate stint at Enstone, joining on a multi-year deal.

Alonso first raced for Renault between 2003 and 2006, winning the world championship in 2005 and 2006 season. After one year at McLaren, he returned for 2008 on a two-year deal before leaving for Ferrari.

Fernando was not present for the team launch on Tuesday after a cycling accident last month delayed his pre-season preparations. His first appearance in Alpine colours will come at the start of pre-season testing.

The Alpine squad has undergone a number of managerial changes following the rebrand, including the exit of former team principal Cyril Abiteboul.

Former Suzuki MotoGP boss Davide Brivio has joined Alpine as its new racing director, marking his first stint into Formula 1, and will head up the team alongside executive director Marcin Budkowski. Both will report to newly-appointed Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi.

The Alpine A521 will make its first extended on-track appearance at the start of pre-season testing in Bahrain, which takes place from 12-14 March.

5 thoughts to “Alpine presents the new A521”

  1. Double world champion Fernando Alonso says he is “completely fit” for Formula 1 testing after cycling accident. has the news story.

    Fernando Alonso is “completely fit” and will be ready to drive in Formula 1 pre-season testing next week after recovering from a cycling accident, according to Alpine’s CEO.

    Two-time world champion Alonso is set to make his F1 comeback this year with Alpine, having not made a grand prix start since his final appearance for McLaren at the end of 2018.

    Alonso’s pre-season preparations were complicated after he was involved in a cycling accident while out on the roads in Switzerland last month.

    The Spaniard required corrective surgery for an upper jaw fracture, but he has since returned to training and left Alpine confident he would be able to feature in pre-season testing.

    Despite being absent from Alpine’s F1 car launch on Tuesday in order to focus on his preparations and recovery, CEO Laurent Rossi stressed Alonso was fit for the new season.

    “Fernando is doing very well,” Rossi said. “He had a bad accident. A bike accident is rarely something that goes easy, but he was lucky, and he ended up only suffering from his jaw.

    “So besides the necessary surgery and care on his jaw, the rest is totally fine. Fernando is completely fit. He is totally operational.

    “We are even surprised that he’s recovered so quickly. He confirmed to us almost immediately after the incident that he will be here in Bahrain, which has been confirmed with his doctors.

    “It looks like he was right because he’s absolutely fit, and we are looking forward to seeing him next week in the car.”

    Alpine will give its newly-launched A521 F1 car an initial shakedown at Silverstone on Wednesday, using one of its allocated filming days for the new season.

    With Alonso unable to easily enter the UK due to COVID-19 restrictions, the running will be completed solely by his teammate, Esteban Ocon.

    But Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski said activities such as the team launch and the filming day were not as important as ensuring Alonso was fully fit for the new season.

    Alonso unable to be part of the launch even remotely, how disruptive has the situation been in terms of the team’s preparations for him for this season?

    “It’s really about giving him the best chance of fully recovering for the beginning of the season,” Budkowski said.

    “It’s more important to have him completely fit in time for the test in Bahrain than having him here for the launch, or having him actually driving the car tomorrow for the shakedown.

    “On top of that, when you have restrictions, and someone is recovering from an accident and you have restrictions on travel and quarantine etc, it’s not the best situation.

    “So let’s keep Fernando 100%, give him time for recovery and have him fit for Bahrain testing.”

  2. Ex-AlphaTauri and Red Bull Formula 1 driver Daniil Kvyat has joined Alpine as a reserve driver ahead of the 2021 season.

    Kvyat dropped off the F1 grid at the end of the 2020 season after AlphaTauri opted to sign Red Bull youngster Yuki Tsunoda to partner Pierre Gasly for 2021.

    It marked the end of Kvyat’s third stint with the Faenza-based squad, and a second exit from the Red Bull umbrella of drivers, having previously departed at the end of 2017.

    But Kvyat will remain within the F1 paddock this year after Alpine announced on Tuesday that the Russian would be joining its line-up as a reserve driver for the 2021 campaign.

    “We have a strong addition to the team in Daniil Kvyat, who is going to be our reserve driver for the season,” announced Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi.

    “We’re pretty happy about that, because in a pandemic, it is important for us to have a strong back up, and Daniil has proven that he is a very quick and reliable driver in very difficult conditions.

    “He has already scored three podiums at the age of 26, so we are very, very happy that someone is going to be able to step up if the need arises and score the points, take the car where it should be at the end of the line.

    “So we are quite happy about this strong addition to our team.”

    “I am very excited to join the Alpine F1 Team family,” said Kvyat.

    “The team has achieved some great results in the past year and is very technologically advanced. Development has been strong, and I am aiming to contribute to this positive trend.

    “I will try to bring my experience on and off track to help develop the A521 and future cars as well. As a reserve driver you need to keep sharp and I look forward to integrating into the team in several different areas.”

    Kvyat made his F1 debut with Toro Rosso in 2014 before moving up to the senior Red Bull squad for the following year, scoring his maiden podium at the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix.

    But a difficult start to the 2016 season led to Kvyat being demoted back to Toro Rosso, and ultimately lose his seat at the end of 2017.

    After working with Ferrari for one year in a development role, Kvyat made a surprise return to Toro Rosso for 2019, and scored a shock podium for the team at that year’s German Grand Prix.

    He was overlooked for a promotion back to Red Bull, though, and with the emergence of Tsunoda in F2 last year, was left without a seat for 2021.

    Kvyat takes over the role from Sergey Sirotkin, who served as Renault’s reserve through 2020 before the team’s rebrand.


  3. New racing director Davide Brivio commented that it has been ‘not easy’ leaving the Suzuki MotoGP outfit for a ‘dream’ Formula 1 move. has the full details.

    Davide Brivio says it was “not easy” to leave Suzuki’s MotoGP title-winning squad to become Alpine’s Formula 1 racing director, but thought he would regret not making the move.

    As part of the overhaul of the Renault works F1 squad and rebranding as Alpine for 2021, the team announced a new leadership structure in January, with Brivio becoming racing director.

    Brivio had worked at Suzuki since 2013, overseeing its full-time return to MotoGP in 2015 before leading its world championship victory with Joan Mir last year.

    Brivio called the decision to leave Suzuki “difficult” at the time, but has openly spoken about the decision to join Alpine for the first time at the launch of the team’s 2021 A521 F1 car.

    “Of course, it was not easy to leave my old team, an environment which I knew very well,” Brivio said when asked by about the decision.

    “Formula 1 has been for me a dream for a long time, and it’s very exciting for me to start something completely new, and to get into a new environment.

    “Of course I have a lot to learn. I have a lot to understand, but it’s adrenaline for me, it’s oxygen, to get to work and to learn a lot of things.

    “It was an opportunity which I felt I had to take. Probably I would have regretted it if I would not have taken it. So now here I am, and I will try to do my best, and I hope I can contribute something to the Alpine Formula 1 team with my experience.

    “It won’t be easy, I need some time, but I’m fully committed to try and get involved as best as possible.”

    Brivio is set to jointly run the team with executive director Marcin Budkowski, with the pair taking over following the departure of long-serving Renault F1 chief Cyril Abiteboul.

    “I will be in charge of the track operations and activities, so everything happens on the circuit,” Brivio said.

    “Our job as a race team is to exploit the full potential of the car. In Enstone, there is a big pressure and big responsibility because we have over 1,000 people between Enstone and Viry preparing the chassis, the car, and the power unit.

    “We will be a much limited number of people at the race track, but there is where we have to extract the full potential of the car. So I will be in charge of that.

    “And of course I’m not an engineer, but I have to try to make sure engineers, mechanics, the drivers, all the people involved, they have all they need to perform at the very best.

    “In this way, if we are able to have a strong team, which is already in place, we will be able to extract the full potential of the car.”

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