Alpine sets F1 launch date

Alpine’s interim livery released last month

Alpine will launch its 2021 Formula 1 challenger early next month as its first season since switching from the Renault guise approaches rapidly.

The team has announced via social media it will hold a virtual launch on March 2.

That will fall on the same day as Mercedes, and a day before Aston Martin, who recently confirmed a March 3 launch.

Alpine will welcome Fernando Alonso – a two-time world champion with Renault in 2005 and 2006 – back to the fold as team-mate to Esteban Ocon.

Alonso’s return to the F1 grid hit a hurdle earlier this month, when he was hospitalised after a cycling accident in Switzerland.

The 39-year-old has since been discharged, with the team confirming this week, “he will now have a short period of complete rest before progressively resuming training to undertake preparation for the start of the season.”

Alpine/Renault finished fifth in the 2020 teams’ championship.

The Enstone organisation will enter the new season with ex-Suzuki MotoGP boss Davide Brivio taking the role of racing director, and without long-time team principal Cyril Abiteboul, who departed the squad last month.

The opening race of the 2021 season will take place at Bahrain on March 26-28.

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