Motor racing-Alpine appoint three technical directors after more departures

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 - Alpine Car Launch - Enstone, Britain - February 7, 2024 Alpine's Pierre Gasly, Esteban Ocon and reserve driver Jack Doohan pose with the Alpine team at the new cars launch Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Renault-owned Alpine announced another managerial shake-up on Monday with three new bosses replacing technical director Matt Harman and aerodynamics head Dirk de Beer, who have left the Formula One team after a dismal start to the season.

Alpine said in a statement that both had chosen to leave and seek new challenges.

The three new technical directors are Joe Burnell for engineering, David Wheater for aerodynamics and Ciaron Pilbeam for performance.

All three will report to team principal Bruno Famin, who took over from the departed Otmar Szafnauer as interim boss last August and now has the permanent position.

In the space of two weeks last summer, an entire top tier left the Enstone factory -- Chief Executive Laurent Rossi, Szafnauer, Sporting Director Alan Permane and Chief Technical Officer Pat Fry.

Former racing director Davide Brivio also left at the end of last year and returned to MotoGP.

The team finished fourth overall in 2022 and slumped to sixth last season.

They started the 2024 campaign in Bahrain last Saturday with both cars on the back row of the grid and finished with experienced race winners Esteban Ocon 17th and Pierre Gasly 18th.

Alpine said Monday's changes came "after a period of disappointing results" in which they had missed several key targets.

The Renault engine is at a 20-30 horsepower disadvantage to rivals, according to the governing FIA, with development frozen until 2026 when a new power unit is introduced.

"We have decided to make these organisational changes as we can clearly see that we are not where we want nor need to be in terms of performance level and it is time to take another step in terms of organisation and people," said Famin.

"The new three-pillared structure with three Technical Directors, each specialising in different areas, will bring better work and collaboration across our technical areas and contribute to delivering performance from the factories to the race track.

"I trust fully in the abilities of Joe, David and Ciaron to work closely together in bringing the team the performance and improvements that it needs."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris)

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