“Without a power unit supply or without any connections…” – The rebranded Renault team Alpine has plans to loan out the Alpine Academy drivers to other F1 teams this season.
The Renault/Alpine team has a talented stock of young drivers who are expected to make the step up to Formula 1 this decade. For this season, they have the returning legend Fernando Alonso and Mercedes-guided Esteban Ocon.
The only problem is, they do not have a partner team anymore, after McLaren’s switch to Mercedes. Mercedes have three – Aston Martin, McLaren, and Williams; Red Bull has a sister team AlphaTauri, and Ferrari has Alfa Romeo and Haas. Regardless, Alpine Academy director Mia Sharizman is confident of ‘deals’ with other teams to hand her boys trials in their F1 cars.
“It is something that we have identified, ways and means to ultimately get the drivers to our seat. Without a power unit supply or without any connections, there can still be a collaboration between other teams. I won’t divulge too much into it.
“But having said that, we focus on what we have, we focus on the two race seats that we have, the academy that we have, and the tools that we have. Obviously, going into our team is the priority. But we believe that there is still room for collaboration with other teams, irrespective of the power unit supply.”
Meet our 2021 #AlpineAcademy line-up!
Competing in FIA Formula 2:
Guanyu Zhou, Christian Lundgaard and Oscar Piastri
Competing in FIA Formula 3:
Caio Collet and Victor Martins pic.twitter.com/Cnarj3KVXY
— Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) February 10, 2021
Alpine field strong line-up for Formula 2
The Alpine Academy is going all guns out in F1, with three credible drivers for this season. Guanyu Zhou and Christian Lundgaard are title contenders this season, while Oscar Piastri is the reigning F3 champion. All three would be looking for impressive performances this season and give Ocon a run-for-his-money for the elusive seat alongside Alonso.
“The three of them are three different years, going into the championship: you have Zhou in his third year, Christian in his second year, and obviously Oscar is a rookie.”