Star customers would welcome a Mercedes engineAlpine

Alpine is studying the possibility of becoming, in 2026, a client team. And the possible Mercedes engine of the French team pleases Williams and McLaren...

Published on 06/07/2024 à 10:45

Yannis Duval

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Star customers would welcome a Mercedes engineAlpine

Toto Wolff and Alpine, any discussions to come? ©DPPI

Project Alpine/Renault raises many questions. While the French brand achieves a first half of the season clearly below expectations, the hypothesis of becoming a customer team – and therefore stopping the production of a F1 – gradually begins to grow. It was a rumor going around the paddock but it now seems to be clear, Alpine explores the different offers for 2026. And Mercedes could well be a seller...

At a press conference, Toto wolff, team principal of the Flèches d'Argent, has affirmed his intention to find a client team after the departure ofAston Martin (which will be powered by Honda in 2026). “It's a complicated situation because we like the idea of ​​replacing Aston Martin with another team because of the sheer learning you do, explains the Austrian. Our organization is designed so that the more power units there are, the better in terms of development and reliability. » 

On the other hand, no clear discussion with Alpine For now. And that will have to wait a little while longer. “ I think it did not go beyond the stage of exchange of opinions or exploratory discussions (With Alpine,Ed.). Alpine will have to make a decision: does it want to continue its Formula 1 engine program or not? It is only when she has made this strategic decision that we will look at our agreements. But we are open and that's what we told them. » 

Alpine in a dead end?

The French team must think twice before deciding on its decision as there are so many issues at stake. And, according to Zak Brown, executive director of McLaren, time does not necessarily play in favor ofAlpine : “From our point of view, what is good for HPP (Mercedes, High Performance Powertrains) is good for McLaren. They are a great partner that we work with. So if this (the coming ofAlpine, Editor's note) adds value to their power unit proposal, we completely agree. 

As for the timing of the decision, I think the sooner you make it the better, for preparations etc. I imagine they will probably want to be fixed before the summer holidays to give them as much time as possible to familiarize themselves with the production unit and working methods. »

An opinion shared by James Vowles, principal team of Williams and it also powered by Mercedes, which estimates thatAlpine already leaving late for the 2026 season. “We have already been working with HPP for many months to get the right concept for 2026. So whatever you do, you will be six to twelve months behind the other three teams. It's quite penalizing. That's not to say it's unachievable, but there will be areas where you have to compromise. There is a huge amount of work to do to make 2026 perfect. And even the smallest decision regarding layout can have a huge impact. » 

So what should we do? Alpine ? Continue to develop your own engine, with the possibility of missing the 2026 regulations or join Mercedes to “ensure” a high-performance power unit? In any case, becoming a client team would represent a failure for the project Alpine/Renault…

ALSO READ > Briatore confident for the futureAlpine : “In 2026, I will win races, Alpine will be on the podium »

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2 Comment (s)

Yves-Henri RANDIER

06/07/2024 at 01:52 a.m.

The first step to making the bride sexy before selling her on with an attractive motor contract, this is the secret mission of "Mister Cheater" aka "Il Magnifico Flavio"! We really wonder why F1 wants to impose new engine regulations in 2030 after those of 2026... which was not necessarily necessary when e-fuel could have been adapted to the current engine!

L

lazy bear

06/07/2024 at 11:25 a.m.

If indeed Alpine stop the development of F1 engines, it's the end of the story started in 77 with the Renault Turbo. Alpine will no longer be anything but a marketing showcase stuck on an English team, powered by a German manufacturer. As insignificant as Stake F1 or Visa Cash RB. An admission of failure for Renault which gave the keys to the marketing department ofAlpine. Sad...

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