Ex-Alpine boss slams team for not having a Lewis Hamilton

Cyril Abiteboul, ex-Renault principal, has savaged the lack of leadership in his former team.

Cyril Abiteboul, once considered a Renault lifer, serving them for 20 years from 2001 until 2021, has lashed out at Alpine’s strategy.

When Renault rebranded as Alpine in 2021, the French principal moved on.

Now, Abiteboul has shared his opinions on Alpine’s current standings.

2023 looks like it will be the first time in years that the Alpine team will not finish with a top 5 standing.

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Abiteboul believes that this is because the team is lacking a “team boss driver”, and he may be right.

Mercedes has Lewis Hamilton, Red Bull has Max Verstappen, but Alpine does not have a name that jumps out at F1 enthusiasts.

Abiteboul criticises this lack of a team star by saying: “You need a driver who is also a bit of a team boss, and this power of personification is fundamental.

“At the moment, the grid is very competitive with all cars finishing on the same lap.”

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The Frenchman has a point, Alpine’s big winners are Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly.

While they are both great drivers, Abiteboul claims that: “Two names is one too many.”

Without one of them stepping up to become the team boss, Alpine may be lacking the leadership it needs.

Alpine also has had rough times in the previous months.

Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer, who was Abiteboul’s replacement, has announced that he will be leaving Alpine, along with Sporting Director Alan Permane.

The loss of Fernando Alonso to Aston Martin, at the beginning of the 2023 season, and Oscar Piastri to McLaren also remain major blows to the team.

It seems like upon its rebranding, Alpine has yet to find its stability, and these losses are not helping.

Abiteboul, now the principal of Hyundai Motorsport, agrees with the need for consistency in Alpine, saying:

“Every element that is changed potentially puts the team spirit and culture at risk.

“It is these two aspects in particular that are lacking at Alpine.”

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Yet, he remains confident in Alpine’s foundation.

He said: “The investments have been made, the resources, the group’s ambitions, the corporate strategy with the Alpine brand – it’s all there.

“When a team has everything, it needs something that transcends it, someone to drive it.”