Laurent Rossi has revealed why the Alpine team continue to use Renault-badged engines, despite the Renault Group having renamed their F1 entry to promote their niche sports brand.
Renault's factory team rebranded as Alpine for the 2021 season, as part of a group push to increase the visibility and marketability of their sports car subsidiary.
Despite the F1 team rebranding for 2021, and changing their base livery colour to the traditional Alpine blue, the team opted against rebranding their engines. As a result, the Alpine team continued to be powered by Renault engines last year, and this will not change for 2022.
Speaking ahead of the Alpine car launch on 21 February, the Alpine CEO revealed there are no plans any time soon to move away from Renault branding.
"It's a choice we made; we will probably continue putting them as Renault for the foreseeable future, because it's the Renault know-how," he told RacingNews365.com in an exclusive interview.
"The Alpine brand is more like the car production, the brand production. At the end of the day, we're a subsidiary of Renault, and it's Renault know-how."
The engines are manufactured by Renault's F1 engine factory at Viry-Chatillon in France, which itself has been renamed as Alpine, even though the engines themselves are not.
"We called the Viry team and its facilities under the new name Alpine," Rossi said.
"But it's still very much part of the Renault Group. It's 100 per cent owned by the Renault Group and we would still call them Renault engines – they are actually called Renault, the code names of the engines.
"It's the R.E.22 for , which refers directly to Renault. So we didn't change that, even though we changed the car name to A522. The powertrain is still called R.E."
Szafnauer assumes responsibility at Alpine
Last week, Alpine announced further changes to their F1 team management structure.
Former Aston Martin team boss Otmar Szafnauer has been signed, taking over the role as Team Principal, while Bruno Famin has been appointed Executive Director of Alpine Racing at their Viry facility.
Rossi explained that, while both have senior management positions at each of their two main F1 facilities at Enstone and Viry, it is Szafnauer who assumes overall responsibility.
"Yes, but not exactly," Rossi replied when asked if it is a simple case of Szafnauer running Enstone, and Famin running Viry.
"In terms of administrative organisation, yes. Otmar will be employed by Alpine UK, Bruno by Alpine France, which is basically Enstone and Viry, respectively.
"That said, Otmar will be running F1 operations across all sides – Enstone, Viry and trackside. So, even though he doesn't have a direct hierarchical link to the people at Viry, the project will be led by Enstone.
"So the idea is, we're going to consider all divisions – vehicle dynamics, aerodynamics, but as well the PU (power unit) as a subsystem to the chassis or the car itself.
"The system responsibility will be Matt Harmon's (Technical Director). He will conduct the project of the car and all the other subsystems will fit in and the PU will do the same.
"But at the end of the day, the head honcho is going to be Otmar and he's going to be working along with Pat Fry (Chief Technical Officer), Matt Harmon and also Renault to conduct the project."
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