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Alpine F1: Rob White sacked as operations director

The change comes in the wake of the appointment in February of a new chief operations officer, former McLaren Automotive and Lotus Cars manager John Woods.

And it is part of an ongoing restructure led by Famin in an attempt to improve the team’s performance, which has been declining in recent years.

White is the latest in a series of management departures at Alpine since Famin was put in charge by Renault chief executive officer Luca de Meo last July.

Team principal Otmar Szafnauer and long-serving sporting director Alan Permane were the first to go – sacked in the middle of last year’s Belgian Grand Prix weekend. Chief technical officer Pat Fry also left that weekend, choosing to join Williams.

Following the team’s disappointing start to the 2024 season, technical director Matt Harman and head of aerodynamics Dirk de Beer resigned in March.

Days later, the highly regarded design engineer Bob Bell – who has had successful spells at many teams in F1, including McLaren and Mercedes in addition to Renault – left and joined Aston Martin.

These departures were initially covered by an internal reshuffle, but in May the team signed former Ferrari and McLaren engineer David Sanchez as executive technical director to lead their design facility.

Renault’s F1 team were rebranded as Alpine in 2021, when they finished fifth in the constructors’ championship.

They climbed to fourth in 2022, during which they lost both Fernando Alonso and Oscar Piastri as a result of mismanagement – Alonso went to Aston Martin for 2023 and Piastri, then Alpine’s reserve driver, moved to McLaren.

Fortunes dipped in 2023, and Alpine slipped to sixth. This year, they are ninth in the constructors’ championship after the first eight races and their car is the second slowest in the field on average qualifying pace.

A recent floor upgrade has produced disappointing results in terms of performance, and in Monaco last weekend their drivers crashed together on the opening lap.

As a result Esteban Ocon, who had tried to pass team-mate Pierre Gasly at Portier despite being told by the team before the race to hold station, was given a five-place grid penalty for the next race in Canada.

Famin told French television after the race there would be “consequences” as a result of the incident but has not elaborated on what these might be.

Ocon is tipped to leave Alpine at the end of the season.

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