Red Bull’s split from Renault at the end of the 2018 season was filled with tension as the energy drink giants had grown tired of the unreliable power units supplied to them by the French manufacturer.
Christian Horner and Cyril Abiteboul came to blows on a number of occasions, ending with the Frenchman signing Daniel Ricciardo from Red Bull as the teams split from each other.
Since moving to Honda power units, Red Bull have come on leaps and bounds, winning the drivers’ championship with Max Verstappen in the past two seasons and bringing the constructors’ championship trophy back to Milton Keynes for the first time since 2013.
It is not just Red Bull who are seeing their decision to split from Renault paying dividends however, as Alpine, who rebranded from Renault in 2021, have also enjoyed success in recent years.
Alpine technical director Matt Harmann has suggested that the distraction of supplying power units for Red Bull was weighing the team down, meaning that they have been freer to focus on themselves since the split.
“I think there is a massive advantage, and there is no distraction,” he told RacingNews.365.com.
“Having lived through being a works team and suppling others working on the engine side where we would have supplied others, there is always an element of distraction and things you always have to compromise to make sure your project can fairly interact with other chassis.
“With us, we don’t have any of that. It’s quite good that our conversations are all about first principles engineering, about how we’re going to design and architect the engine, how it fits into a car organically – we don’t have any conversations about any compromises.”
Alpine have looked like a team with a lot of potential since joining the grid in 2021 and after securing a best of the rest finish ahead of McLaren in 2022, the future looks bright for the French team.
Fernando Alonso has been replaced with the very talented Pierre Gasly for this season, leaving Alpine with one of the most exciting driver lineups on the grid this year as the team look to become regulars on the podium, having only a single victory to their name so far in F1.