F1 entry a marketing strategy for Alpine

Fernando Alonso at the Bahrain Grand Prix

Alpine’s Formula 1 team will be used as a marketing platform for Renault to raise awareness of its boutique brand.

The factory Renault squad has been rebranded for the 2021 F1 season, with Esteban Ocon joined by Fernando Alonso.

The name above the door isn’t the only change, with sweeping management reforms having also taken place.

That’s seen Cyril Abiteboul depart the organisation, with his role now seemingly split between Laurent Rossi, Marcin Budkowski, and Davide Brivio.

Rossi is CEO of Alpine with responsibility across the motorsport and automotive arms of the business.

Budkowski, based at the team’s Enstone headquarters, oversees the running of the race team and its departments, with Brivio managing the drivers.

It’s a complicated structure, unlike that used anywhere else in Formula 1.

Though he has little day-to-day input into the team, Rossi has explained that he remains “pretty involved”.

Esteban Ocon

“This is the cornerstone of our project,” said the Alpine boss.

“This is going to be the main media platform for us. It’s also the flagship of our savoir faire, if you will.

“All the technology that we’ve developed into Formula 1, be it for the power unit but also aerodynamics, our mass expertise will translate one way or another at some point into technologies and services that we will use in our cars.”

Alpine’s European sales figures climbed in 2019 to 4376 vehicles, up from 1950 the year before. Predictably, they then dropped again last year as the pandemic hit.

It hopes the use of Formula 1 can raise awareness for the brand to help drive those numbers north.

“We’re going to certainly benefit from the audience of Formula 1, 23 grands prix across all over the world, 500 million people watching,” Rossi explained.

“That means basically that every week there’s always people tuning in and looking at the brands, the constructors, so this will create awareness for the brand.

“In parallel we are going to expand our dealership network, to translate that hopefully into sales.”

Alpine left the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix last month without a point.

Alonso was forced to retire after a sandwich wrapper got into his brake duct, while Ocon was a lap down in 13th.

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