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Permane set for F1 return with rebranded AlphaTauri

Former Alpine sporting director Alan Permane is set for a return to Formula 1, Autosport can reveal, with sources linking him with a move to the rebranded AlphaTauri squad. 

Alan Permane, Sporting Director, Alpine F1 Team

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

The grand prix veteran is well known in F1 circles, having spent 34-years at his previous Enstone employer under its various guises as Benetton, Renault, Lotus and most recently Alpine

However, he left the team last summer in the wake of a shake-up at the organisation that also resulted in the departure of its team principal Otmar Szafnauer. 

Permane’s vast experience of F1, having been a part of title successes at ‘Team Enstone’ with both Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso, meant he would always be a target for other teams once he was contractually available. 

Although there has been no official confirmation from AlphaTauri about any potential staff changes at its team, Motorsport.com understands that Permane is being lined up for a role at the squad. 

That Permane has been picked by the Red Bull-owned operation, which is being rebranded as part of a fresh push to move it up the grid, is no huge surprise after he earned high-praise from Christian Horner last year. 

Ayumu Iwasa, AlphaTauri AT04

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Ayumu Iwasa, AlphaTauri AT04

Speaking in the wake of Permane being dropped by Alpine, Red Bull team boss Horner had sung his praises.

“Alan Permane is one of the rocks of F1,” he said. “He is one of the longest standing senior engineers in the sport, and certainly someone with a lot of knowledge. 

“I don't know about the ins and outs of the management reshuffle there, but there is a lot of very respectable people in there. And definitely, you shouldn't discount anyone of that seniority.” 

He also suggested that it would be logical to think that Permane would swiftly be back in the paddock.  

“Whilst I've never worked with Alan Permane, I think sometimes there has to be respect shown for somebody that's put in 34 years of hard graft and been involved in world championships with Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso,” he said. 

“He has also been a steady hand during periods of that team going into administration, and out of administration, and into different ownership and so on. 

“He's very much been a constant there during that period. I think that earns respect and recognition, and I'm sure he's a guy, like with Otmar, that won't find themselves out of work. 

“It won't be the last you've seen of them in the pitlane, no doubt about that.” 

AlphaTauri is to undergo a rebranding this year, with former Ferrari racing director Laurent Mekies having been brought in as new team principal to work alongside CEO Peter Bayer. 

The squad will announce an all-new name and sponsor portfolio ahead of the launch of its 2024 F1 car. 

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