Failed crash tests proof of Alpine’s ambitions, says its F1 chief


The Enstone-based outfit revealed a virtually all-new challenger for 2024 at its factory on Wednesday, with technical director Matt Harman claiming that the only carry-over component from last season was the steering wheel.

It hopes that the aggressive targets the team has set for the new car, which was only finished in the early hours before the launch, will pay off in helping it move up the grid throughout the season.

Harman had alluded to the team taking things to the edge, and he even suggested it had gone too far with some design aspects.

“We have pushed some elements to the limit and, in some cases, beyond that,” he said.

This comment may have been about rumours over the winter that Alpine had not passed all of the FIA’s mandatory crash tests the first time.

Famin, who as team principal is also head of Alpine’s motorsport projects, confirmed to Autosport that the team had indeed had to retake some tests which it subsequently passed, but says that is something he welcomed rather than was unhappy about.

“We had to redo some tests, some homologations tests,” he said. “But I think it’s just the normal process.

“If you pass all the tests the first time, it means that you have not been ambitious enough. So, let’s see what will be the final result, but the fact of having to redo some tests is not at all a criticism.”

Alpine A524

Alpine A524

Photo by: Alpine

While the benchmark Red Bull squad has opted for a design evolution this year, Alpine’s decision to go for an all-new car could leave it facing the need to unlock performance from it rapidly if it is not going to fall back.

Plus, with 2026 car regulations looming, there is no scope for a rethink for next year if the new design does not work. While its choice could be viewed as a roll of the dice to move forwards, Famin does not see it that way.

“No gamble,” he said. “We worked hard to develop a quite totally new car. Everything that was possible to change as per the regulation, we changed it.

“This is due to two reasons: the first one is because we learned from the past, of course, we learned about aero, we learned about tyres, we learned about tyre performance and tyre degradation, of course.

“And the second reason is that I think, we are not the only ones, but we have the totally new 2026 regulations coming by the middle of 2024.

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“I think we will need a lot of resources to start working on the ’26 project quite early in the season, and the 2025 car might be only a mild evolution of the ’24 one.

“It was important to make a big step into 2024. We will see how fast is that.

“There are a lot of new things, and we don’t know absolutely where we are going to be on the grid. What will be important is our ability to develop the car during the season.”



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