Alpine may abandon works Renault engine to become customer F1 team

Alpine are reportedly considering becoming a customer F1 team from 2026.

Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team A524. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, Race
Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team A524. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9…

Alpine could ditch their works Renault engine in favour of becoming a customer F1 team from 2026, according to reports.

Autosport reports that Alpine are considering this direction and have already “opened talks with rival manufacturers about the possibility of securing a customer deal”.

Such a move would see Alpine shut down their Renault power unit operation, which is based at Viry-Chatillon in the suburbs of Paris.

Renault have struggled with their power unit performance for several years and are currently lagging behind their rival F1 engine manufacturers.

According to Autosport, Alpine team principal Bruno Famin has been “pondering the situation over recent weeks” and is in the process of weighing up alternative options.

Alpine could seek to do a deal with Red Bull Powertrains, who will supply both Red Bull and sister team RB when new engine regulations come into effect from 2026.

Mercedes could be an alternative option for Alpine as the German manufacturer will lose a customer in 2026 when Aston Martin switches to Honda power.

Mercedes previously supplied Alpine under their previous Lotus guise in 2015.

Honda, who are returning to F1 from 2026 to power Aston Martin, could be another solution for Alpine.

Amid rumours of a possible sale, Renault CEO Luca de Meo recently reiterated his commitment to the future of the Alpine F1 outfit.

"It's not my style. We will not sell even a part of this thing. We don't need the money,” De Meo told Autocar.

“I’ve had people making offers left and right, then talking in the press about it. But we're not interested. It would be stupid, and I won't do it.”

However, De Meo admitted that the competitiveness of Renault’s power unit has underwhelmed since the V6 hybrid era began in 2014.

"When we began the hybrid era [in 2014], our engine didn't perform. We had been world champions with Red Bull but with hybrid, things went wrong,” he acknowledged.

"Even the engine we developed in 2021 had a 0.2s to 0.5s disadvantage every lap. And this year we've screwed up with the car. If you combine everything, we're up to 1.5s from where we need to be.”

Alpine are enduring a difficult 2024 campaign and currently lie eighth in the constructors’ championship, having scored just five points across the opening nine races. 

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