The Alpine F1 Team has officially entered into its new era today by virtually launching its first-ever entry into the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
This year’s competitor, the A521, boasts a striking livery of blue, white and red which is synonymous to Alpine’s French heritage and pedigree in motorsports.
The car will be powered by the Renault E-Tech 20B 1.6L V6 engine power unit, designed and developed in Viry-Châtillon, marking 45 years of unbroken F1 activity for the French car manufacturer.
The A521 is an evolution of the R.S.20, which competed in the 2020 championship.
In line with the regulatory changes agreed last year in response to the global pandemic, the main structural elements of the A521 are a carry-over from last season.
The Alpine F1 Team’s first challenger will be piloted by Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso.
Fernando returns to Formula 1 following a two-year break, re-joining the outfit with which he claimed his two Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championships in 2005 and 2006.
Esteban – who enters his second year with the team – will look to build on a strong 2020 campaign which saw the 24-year-old score his first-ever podium in Formula 1 at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.
He begins his fourth full season in the sport since making his debut in August 2016.
The team will be spearheaded by the new leadership trio of Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi, Executive Director Marcin Budkowski and Racing Director Davide Brivio.
The first ever Alpine F1 Team car will make its on track debut tomorrow with Esteban Ocon at a filming day at Silverstone Circuit, two weeks ahead of official pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit, kicking off on March 12.
Speaking at the launch this afternoon, Laurent Rossi said; “Today we are proud to present Alpine F1 Team’s first ever Formula 1 car that will compete in the 2021 championship.
“This is an important milestone for Alpine, as it positions itself as the brand at the forefront of Groupe Renault’s innovation.
“Alpine naturally finds its place in the high standards, prestige and performance of Formula 1 and we’re eagerly anticipating the debut of the A521 piloted by our drivers, two-time Formula 1 World Drivers’ Champion Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon.
“This year our objective is clear, to continue the momentum that was garnered last year and fight for podiums. Our long-term vision is to see the Alpine name on the top step of the podium in Formula 1.
“Motorsports is in our DNA and now is the time for Alpine colours to race and compete in the pinnacle of motor racing in Formula 1.”
Speaking about the new season ahead, Esteban Ocon said; “I’m very much looking forward to starting the season and having the first taste of the A521 in Bahrain.
“It’s been a long and busy off-season full of preparation and I, along with the team, feel ready for the year ahead.
“I love the new Alpine colours and as a Frenchman, it’s a great pride to carry the French flag on the car.
“I feel more prepared than last year and I think that’s just natural as I’m entering this season having had a full year racing in 2020.
“I want to start the season at the same level as I finished last year, and I can’t see any reasons why that can’t be the case.
“Working with Fernando is going to be fantastic. He’s a driver I’ve looked up to and a person I’ve taken inspiration from since a long time.
“I look forward to collaborating with him and pushing him on track to ensure the team meets its goals.”
Alonso added; “I’m very excited to be back in Formula 1 and to be part of Alpine F1 Team’s next chapter in the sport.
“I’ve been working hard to prepare myself for racing back in Formula 1 and the target is to attack from the beginning.
“Driving the car for the first time is going to be a very exciting experience and I hope both factories can saviour the moment.
“We have a strong team and together with Esteban we must push on from last year and deliver results.
“We know it’s going to be a very competitive season, but we’re ready for the challenge. The car looks great and I have fond memories of racing with blue in Formula 1.”
Alpine Academy driver Guanyu Zhou continues in his role as the team’s Test Driver, alongside competing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship for UNI-Virtuosi.