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Alpine Contemplates Major Shift: Considering Customer Team Status and Abandoning Works Renault Engine from 2026

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Alpine is reportedly contemplating the idea of transitioning to a customer F1 team starting in 2026, moving away from their current role operating with Renault's in-house engines.

Reports suggest that Alpine might abandon their official Renault engine to instead adopt a customer role in the Formula 1 team lineup starting in 2026.

According to Autosport, Alpine is exploring this avenue and has initiated discussions with competing brands regarding the potential of establishing a partnership as a client.

This action would result in Alpine discontinuing their Renault engine division, located in the Viry-Chatillon area on the outskirts of Paris.

For several years now, Renault has faced challenges with the efficiency of their engines, trailing behind competitors in the F1 engine manufacturing sector.

Autosport reports that Alpine's team leader, Bruno Famin, has spent the past few weeks reflecting on the current circumstances and is now considering different possibilities.

Alpine may consider negotiating an agreement with Red Bull Powertrains, which is set to provide engines to both Red Bull and its affiliate team RB starting from the introduction of the new engine rules in 2026.

Mercedes might serve as a substitute choice for Alpine, as the German car maker will part ways with a client in 2026 due to Aston Martin's transition to Honda engines.

In 2015, Alpine, then known as Lotus, received engines from Mercedes.

Honda, set to re-enter Formula 1 in 2026 as Aston Martin's engine supplier, might also present an alternative option for Alpine.

Amidst speculation about a potential sale, Renault's CEO, Luca de Meo, recently reaffirmed his dedication to the future of the Alpine F1 team.

"This isn't in line with what we prefer. We're not going to part with even a small piece of this item. The financial gain isn't necessary for us," De Meo explained to Autocar.

"People have been coming to me with proposals from all directions and then discussing them publicly. However, we're not considering them. It would be foolish, and I refuse to go along with it."

Nonetheless, De Meo acknowledged that since the advent of the V6 hybrid era in 2014, Renault's engine performance has failed to meet expectations.

"At the onset of the hybrid era [in 2014], our engine underperformed. Despite our previous world champion status with Red Bull, the transition to hybrid technology did not go as planned,” he admitted.

"In 2021, the engine we created was consistently slower by 0.2 to 0.5 seconds per lap. This year, we really botched things with the car. Taking everything into account, we're lagging by as much as 1.5 seconds behind our target."

Alpine is facing challenges in their 2024 season, presently positioned eighth in the constructors’ standings, with only five points accumulated over the first nine races.

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