Alpine announces F1 technical restructuring after key exits

It emerged over the Bahrain GP weekend that technical director Matt Harman and head of aerodynamics Dirk de Beer had tendered their resignations, although the former was still present on the pitwall at Sakhir.

On Monday, the team announced it is introducing a new three-pillared structure that is similar to that now employed by McLaren.

Joe Burnell will be technical director (engineering), David Wheater becomes technical director (aerodynamics) and Ciaron Pilbeam is now technical director (performance), with all three reporting to team principal Bruno Famin.

The Viry engine team meanwhile is led by technical director (power unit) Eric Meignan, whose focus is on the 2026 project.

The recently announced new Enstone CEO, former Lotus road cars man John Woods, has now started work at the team. His opposite number at Viry is Renault veteran Audrey Vastroux.

Wheater, who was at Enstone in its Renault/Lotus days from 2000 to 2013, recently returned to the team after a nine-year spell at Williams.

Alpine says the changes are a response to the difficult start to the season, which saw Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly qualify only 19th and 20th in Bahrain, and finish the race in 17th and 18th, beating only cars that had been delayed.

Bruno Famin, Team Principal, Alpine F1 Team

Bruno Famin, Team Principal, Alpine F1 Team

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

In effect, the departures of Harman and de Beer created a timely opportunity for a rethink.

«We have decided to make these organisational changes as we can clearly see that we are not where we want nor need to be in terms of performance level,» said Famin. «And it is time to take another step in terms of organisation and people.

«The new three-pillared structure with three technical directors, each specialising in different areas, will bring better work and collaboration across our technical areas and contribute to delivering performance from the factories to the race track.

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«I trust fully in the abilities of Joe, David and Ciaron to work closely together in bringing the team the performance and improvements that it needs.

«Finally, I would like to thank Matt and Dirk for their efforts over the last couple of years at the team and wish them the very best in the next chapter of their careers.»

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