Alpine break silence on Andretti takeover rumours

Interim Alpine team principal, Bruno Famin, has reacted to claims his operation will sell a controlling stake to Andretti.

Bruno Famin, newly-appointed boss of Alpine, has rejected claims that Andretti Autosport is on the verge of acquiring a “significant stake” in his team.

The Enstone-based operation has been in turmoil after the sacking of Otmar Szafnaeur and his sporting director Alan Permane.

The timing of Alpine’s announcement of these departures raised eyebrows as well.

The sackings were declared after the opening practice at the Belgian GP, presumably disconcerting drivers Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly.

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It coincided with news that Alpine technical director, Pat Fry, had joined Williams.

Only days prior, Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi made a lateral move to the ‘special projects’ position within Renault.

Bruno Famin took his place and now holds joint positions of CEO and team boss.

The Frenchman may soon be relieved of his team principal duties by Mattia Binotti, identified as the “most probable” candidate.

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The slapdash nature of how this has all unfolded at Alpine has led to rumours that Renault is gearing up to sell the organisation.

Red Bull has suggested that it should do this – to “shake up” the Formula One landscape.

Alpine has already sold a 24% stake to a group of investors headed by Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds.

This deal valued the team at around $900m.

That leaves Renault with a remaining hypothetical interest of $695m.

Michael Andretti, owner of Andretti Autosport, has made no secret of his desire to enter the F1 world and now seems like the perfect time to strike. 

He has pushed for an 11th team to be allowed into the sport on previous occasions.

However, there has been fierce resistance to this idea from other team principals, who believe Andretti would be better served buying an existing team.

However, Famin denied that Alpine was considering a takeover from Andretti.

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He said: “We have a fascinating project with Alpine.

“The real project is developing the Alpine, supported by the Alpine F1 team, the endurance project, so we are totally focused on that one.

“It’s really part of the Alpine project.”