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New F1 engine technical director “will challenge” Alpine – Famin

Alpine's Bruno Famin believes his new power unit technical director Eric Meignan “will challenge” his French-based engine squad ahead of 2026's key rules changes.

Alpine A523 technical detail

Alpine A523 technical detail

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Experienced power unit engineer Meignan will return to France after a four-year spell at Mercedes HPP in Brixworth, followed by a slightly shorter stint at Ferrari, where he acted as Head of Department at both outfits.

He will now head the Alpine F1 team's engine department in Viry-Chatillon as the team prepares for 2026's wide-ranging power unit rule changes.

Alpine is understood to be lacking in engine performance compared to its rival manufacturers, and as such its motorsport chief and interim team boss Famin was confident Meignan would bring fresh ideas to Viry.

“We're very happy to welcome Eric in Viry and I think he will bring a lot because he's an experienced guy in Formula 1 and I think he will challenge our team,” Famin said.

“He's coming at the right time to challenge our guys to better prepare the 2026 power unit generation.

“I'm very confident that he will do a very good job with all the guys in Viry, he has started already and I think he will very quickly be operational.”

Alpine A523 detail

Photo by: Filip Cleeren

Alpine A523 detail

The appointment should also help free up Famin, who is an engine expert himself.

The Frenchman has taken on additional roles since the dismissal of team boss Otmar Szafnauer in the summer, including that of interim team principal, as he splits his time between Viry in France and Alpine's chassis department in Enstone in the UK.

“I have quite a lot to focus on and it will be a strong support on the technical side,” he added. “We have had good technical guys in Viry already, but I think to have a full-time on-site technical director will really help everybody.”

Earlier this year Alpine claimed its Renault engines were lacking up to 30bhp compared to the power units from Mercedes, Ferrari and Honda.

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With F1's engine performance frozen, Alpine was hoping to find support for engine equalisation measures, but both Mercedes and Ferrari felt Alpine's engine deficit claims were overblown and therefore not worth special dispensation.

From 2026 manufacturers will start with a clean slate when the new regulations come into force, doing away with the complex and expensive MGU-H system, and aim for a 50/50 split between electric power from a beefed up MGU-K and a sustainable fuel powered V6 turbo engine.

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