Renault are here to stay in Formula 1, but they will race on under a new name – and in new colours – from 2021 after the French manufacturer announced they will re-brand to become the Alpine F1 Team.
After announcing the return of two-time world champion Fernando Alonso for 2021 in July, Renault committed to F1 until at least 2025 last month by agreeing to the new Concorde Agreement. But in the wider Renault Group, there have been sweeping changes.
New Group CEO Luca De Meo has reorganised the company to place a sharper focus on key brands – Renault, Dacia, Alpine and New Mobility. As part of this change, Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul has been tasked with helping to elevate the Alpine brand, which currently produces the A110 sportscar.
And now it’s been announced the F1 operation will take on that name – as well as a new colour scheme, with the French national colours of red, white and blue replacing the yellow and black of Renault.
The Alpine brand is renowned throughout motorsport, with the marque taking victories in the Le Mans 24 Hours and in rallying. The brand has never appeared as a manufacturer in F1 before, though Renault’s first foray into Grand Prix racing in 1977 was with a team formed from the Alpine and Gordini competition departments.
Future chassis produced by the Enstone-based team will be designated as Alpines, but the Renault name will remain as the cars will run Renault E-TECH hybrid engines, produced in Viry-Chatillon.
Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul said the team were determined to return to the podium and win under its new colours.
“This change comes at a key moment in the trajectory of the team and the sport,” he said. “Alpine brings a new meaning, new values and colours to the paddock with the spirit of competition from other worlds and French creative agility. These will be assets in the preparation of 2022 deadlines.
“The new regulatory and financial framework will establish the conditions for a fairer motor sport in its redistribution of revenues; simpler and progressive in its governance.
“The implementation of the ‘budget cap’ will put an end to the expense race and will allow the signatory teams to be measured for their sporting value. Alpine has its place in Formula 1 and can challenge for victory.”
De Meo added: “Alpine is a beautiful brand, powerful and vibrant, that brings a smile to the faces of its followers. By introducing Alpine, a symbol of French excellence, to the most prestigious of the world’s automotive disciplines, we are continuing the adventure of manufacturers in a renewed sport.
“We are bringing a dream brand alongside the biggest names, for spectacular car races made and followed by enthusiasts. Alpine will also bring its values to the F1 paddock: elegance, ingenuity and audacity.”
Esteban Ocon will partner Fernando Alonso for the Alpine name’s first season on the grid.