Romain Grosjean has admitted he was surprised by Alpine’s decision to shake up their management team ahead of the 2021 season.
The Frenchman raced for the outfit formerly known as Renault when he first entered Formula 1, and went on to compete for them again under the Lotus name between 2012 and 2015, where he enjoyed 10 podium finishes. Since then Grosjean has kept in touch with many of the staff he worked with and has followed the team’s fortunes closely, but was taken aback by the departure of team principal Cyril Abiteboul and the appointment of Davide Brivio - formerly in charge of the Suzuki MotoGP squad - as racing director.
Brivio will work alongside Marcin Budkowski at Alpine and, despite the sudden change, Grosjean is confident that they will be a positive influence.
“I’ve been watching and following the changes and I think I was quite surprised,” Grosjean was quoted by Autosport. “I know a little bit [about] Brivio, the Suzuki guy. I'm a huge MotoGP fan, so I've been watching obviously his course in MotoGP and watching the championship that they won with the riders.
“He knows racing very well, so I'm hoping that for Renault it's a good move. And also Marcin at the top of the factory now could be good.
“So I wish them the best. It's still 10 years of my life Renault. So I really wish them the best and I hope they can build on what they have done last year. It should be good.”
As well as introducing new management, Alpine will also have a different driver line-up in 2021 after singing Fernando Alonso, who returns to Formula 1 following a two-year hiatus. Meanwhile Esteban Ocon enters into his second year with the team.
The French squad finished the 2020 season in fifth place in the constructors’ standings after a tight battle with McLaren and Racing Point.