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Formula 1 Monaco GP

Alpine sacks long-serving operations chief White in further F1 team shake-up

Alpine has made further structural changes to its Formula 1 team as operations director Rob White has been released, as it continues its efforts to turn around its dwindling fortunes.

Pierre Gasly, Alpine A524

A long-serving member of the team, White moved to the Enstone outfit in 2016 to head up the operations side of the squad having previously worked as the deputy managing director of engines for Renault's powertrain arm in Viry-Chatillon.

He had previously worked for Cosworth's F1 engine project prior to joining Renault in 2004, having been chief engineer at the British firm during its years owned by Ford.

White's departure follows a series of other personnel changes at Alpine, as the French-registered team attempts to overcome a dismal start to 2024 - where it has managed just two points in the opening eight races.

"As part of the team's wider operational restructure, we can confirm the departure of Rob White," a statement from Alpine read.

"Rob most recently served as Operations Director working at Enstone. The team is thankful for Rob’s efforts during his long career both at Enstone and at Viry-Châtillon, where he led the championship winning engine project in 2005 and 2006. We wish him the best in his future endeavours."

Team principal Bruno Famin had installed a three-pronged technical leadership structure following the departures of technical director Matt Harman and chief aerodynamicist Dirk de Beer - the two had resigned from the team as the A524 chassis appeared to lack performance at the start of the season.

This followed reports that the 2024 car was 10kg overweight, which the team has addressed with a revised chassis build to shed weight.

Rob White (GBR) Renault Sport.

Rob White (GBR) Renault Sport.

Photo by: Andre Vor / Sutton Images

Famin was appointed as team principal on an interim basis last year, when Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo dispensed with the services of Otmar Szafnauer and Alan Permane as the team failed to bridge the gap between the two distinct halves of the field.

Former Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi was also given his marching orders, weeks after accusing the team of being "amateurish".

Although Alpine was among the top five teams in relative performance at the start of 2023, it had been leapfrogged by Aston Martin over the winter - and McLaren's growth throughout the season relegated Alpine to a lonely sixth in the constructors' championship.

Famin stayed on board as team principal for 2024 and oversaw the McLaren-influenced three-pillar technical structure - Joe Burnell took over as technical director of engineering, David Wheater as technical director of aerodynamics, and Ciaron Pilbeam as technical director of performance.

The team also signed David Sanchez as executive technical director after the Frenchman had left McLaren, to whom the three technical leaders report in the revised structure.

Alpine scored its second point of 2024 at the Monaco Grand Prix thanks to Pierre Gasly's efforts, despite the team nearly suffering a double retirement when Esteban Ocon attempted to pass his team-mate on the opening lap - and the two made contact.

A red flag in that race ensured that Gasly's car, which had sustained damage, could be fixed. Ocon's impact with the ground after the contact had put him slightly airborne caused damage that could not be fixed in the 40-minute hiatus.

This was an incident that incensed Famin, who warned of "consequences" for Ocon in the wake of their contact.

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