According to Sky Sports F1 analyst Karun Chandhok, the recent changes and problems at the Alpine F1 team could mean that the F1 team may face the same fate as Toyota did in Formula 1 at the time.
The Alpine F1 team had sky-high ambitions, but it has not been able to achieve them for quite some time now. Alpine has slipped to sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship this season. It has made Renault CEO Luca de Meo intervene with Alpine’s management. First Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi was pushed aside and during the race weekend in Belgium team boss Otmar Szafnauer and sporting director Alan Permane were also pushed aside.
However, former F1 driver Karun Chandhok does not expect the measures to pay off. He even makes the comparison with Toyota’s period in Formula 1, which pulled the plug on its F1 project after barely eight seasons and said goodbye to Formula 1. The story of Toyota in Formula 1 even proves that huge investments and a lot of throwing money at it does not even guarantee success in Formula 1.
“The reality is that they are the sixth best team on the grid with the sixth fastest car, but they are the third largest global car brand in the world,” said Karun Chandhok. “The results are not good enough. My concern is that they will continue with managers who come from outside motorsport and Formula 1.”
“When you look at some departments in Enstone, you see that people from the automotive sector focused on street cars are in charge.”
“The same thing happened to Toyota twenty years ago. They seem to be on a path where they can throw in the towel in Formula 1 or adopt a business that I am convinced is not going to work.”
“Three great people have left Alpine. Alan Permane has been there 33 years and Pat Fry seems to have left on his own, no one has thrown him out. Williams did a great job of getting him one contract and Alpine lacks direction and vision.”
“I think they fired very important people, both operationally and on the track. So I think you know where the problems are.”