Renault Group has replaced Laurent Rossi as the chief executive of its Alpine brand.
- Philippe Krief will oversee the sportscar marque, which includes the Formula One team
- Rossi will ‘focus on special projects related to [Renault] Group's transformation’
- Krief to also continue as director of engineering and product performance until a successor is found
Context: Rossi’s time in charge of the Alpine Formula One team could be described as contentious. He oversaw the departures of Alain Prost and Marcin Budkowski, failed to keep hold of Fernando Alonso and then lost his replacement Oscar Piastri to McLaren, and called the team “amateurish” before the Miami Grand Prix in May.
His bullish early season remarks are likely the reason that Renault Group opted for a new approach, especially after he partially took credit for the team’s return to the podium in Monaco in comments to Reuters. He said: “Whether [the comments] worked or not, they are doing what was missing”.
Comment: Luca de Meo, chief executive of Renault Group, said: “I would like to thank Laurent for his unfailing commitment during these two years at the head of Alpine. Laurent has laid down a clear and ambitious strategy for the brand. He has put Alpine in the best possible position to achieve its long-term goals. Alpine is now ready to enter a new phase in its deployment and become a brand of the future.
“Philippe combines a long experience in the sector, a great technical knowledge and the leadership qualities essential to the success of our project, with in particular the launch of the brand's new vehicles from next year. I have every confidence in Philippe and his team to take Alpine to new heights.”
Consequence: This represents a second restructuring at Renault in little more than a week, following the appointment of Bruno Famin to oversee all motorsport activities. What’s clear is that Renault Group is keeping a close eye on its Formula One operation and that it’s current sixth-placed position in the constructors’ standings is seen as underwhelming. All eyes will be on team principal Otmar Szafnauer, a Laurent Rossi appointment, to see if he can steady the ship following this corporate reshuffle.