Abiteboul's Alpine F1 departure was a "shock" - Budkowski

Alpine Formula 1 director Marcin Budkowski has revealed the departure of team principal Cyril Abiteboul was a "surprise and a shock to everyone" at the team.

Abiteboul's Alpine F1 departure was a "shock" - Budkowski

Ahead of the 2021 F1 season the former Renault team was rebranded to Alpine, the French manufacturer's sportscar brand.

As part of the rebrand, the management structure of the Enstone also received an overhaul under new Renault CEO Luca de Meo.

PLUS: How Alpine's cure to 2021 rules starts at the front

Long-time Renault employee Abiteboul was let go from the company, with Alpine to be headed by the new brand CEO Laurent Rossi.

Rossi decided not to appoint a traditional team principal to replace Abiteboul, those duties now split between executive director Budkowski and new racing director Davide Brivio, who joined the team from Suzuki's MotoGP squad.

Speaking to French media at Alpine's launch of its 2021 challenger, Budkowski admitted Abiteboul's departure caused a "shock" within the Enstone team.

"It obviously was a surprise and a shock to everyone when we found out," Budkowski revealed.

"But we were ready for the season anyway, the project was very committed.

"Cyril, in his role, had been struggling to come to Enstone regularly anyway, thanks to COVID. His presence or absence didn't change the commitment of the project.

Abiteboul and Budkowski Renault F1 team 2018

Abiteboul and Budkowski Renault F1 team 2018

Photo by: Motorsport Images

"Then we've had a new management team in place, Laurent [Rossi]'s arrival was announced.

Budkowski said Alpine's reorganisation was carried out quickly and that the team's goals remain unchanged, hoping to improve on its fifth place in the constructors' championship in 2020.

"Laurent recently came to Enstone for a few days, during which he met a lot of people, saw the car, saw the development project, and was briefed on what we're doing for 2022 too.

"We reorganised ourselves very quickly, we have a new team and we have clear, unchanged goals."

On Wednesday Alpine revealed a striking new livery on its Alpine A521 F1 car, which is draped in the French national colours of blue, white and red.

Esteban Ocon remains on board for the new campaign after impressing in the latter half of 2020, with Fernando Alonso coming out of F1 retirement to replace Daniel Ricciardo, who moved across to McLaren for 2021.

shares
comments
Williams FW43B revealed with heavily-revised livery for 2021 season

Previous article

Williams FW43B revealed with heavily-revised livery for 2021 season

Next article

The updates Williams hopes will lead to a points-scoring return

The updates Williams hopes will lead to a points-scoring return
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Alpine
Author Filip Cleeren
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021