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Alpine F1 Team

Exclusive: Alpine early season crisis worsens with key resignations

Further upheaval at the Enstone-and-Viry-based outfit following a difficult winter.

Alpine has suffered a further blow to its early season woes as technical director Matt Harman and head of aerodynamics Dirk de Beer have resigned.

Harman and de Beer handed in their resignations a few weeks ago and are currently serving out the notice period on their contracts, with the duo set to leave the F1 team in April.

Their decision was made before the launch of the A524 which disastrously hit the track in qualifying for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, with Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly lining up on the back row of the grid.

Both drivers conceded prior to the session, and in its immediate aftermath, that the car had its faults. Gasly, in particular, stated it was not one specific area but several which need addressing.

Although a series of updates are expected, the two Frenchmen further made clear that patience will be required as the team tries to force its way back up the pecking order.

The departures of Harman and de Beer, although technically responsible for this year's car, does not aid the team's cause.

The exits are the latest to beset the team and represent a turbulent start to 2024 following a season of upheaval last year. At the end of July, during the Belgian GP weekend, Otmar Szafnauer and Alan Permane were ousted from their roles as team principal and sporting director respectively, whilst Alpine also confirmed at the time that Pat Fry had quit as chief technical officer.

Shortly before, Laurent Rossi was axed as CEO.

Harman leaves after five and a half years with Alpine, joining the team in September 2018 as deputy chief designer following an 18-year spell with Mercedes, predominantly in the powertrains department.

De Beer, meanwhile, has spent over 20 years in F1 as an aerodynamicist, initially with Sauber, before moving on to Renault, Ferrari and Williams. The South African returned to the Enstone team in 2019.

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