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Sanchez's rapid McLaren exit opens door to Alpine rumours

Sanchez's rapid McLaren exit opens door to Alpine rumours
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Alpine, the Formula 1 team facing an alarming performance crisis, is reportedly on the verge of acquiring the expertise of David Sanchez, a venerable engineer with a rich history at Ferrari.

Alpine, the Formula 1 team facing an alarming performance crisis, is reportedly on the verge of acquiring the expertise of David Sanchez, a venerable engineer with a rich history at Ferrari.

David Sanchez, previously steering Ferrari as the head of vehicle concept, transitioned to a period of 'gardening leave' after exiting Maranello early last year. He then stepped into the role of technical director for McLaren in 2024.

However, the alliance between Sanchez and McLaren then suddenly ended, a mere three months into his tenure.

"Upon our joint reflection, it became apparent that the role, responsibilities and ambitions associated with David's position did not align with our original expectations when he agreed to join us," Andrea Stella, the team boss, articulated.

"Recognising this misalignment, both David and I agreed that it would be best to part ways now to enable him to pursue other opportunities that will better leverage the full scale and breadth of his remarkable skill-set," Stella further elaborated.

Sanchez himself has expressed anticipation for his forthcoming involvement in F1, stating, "I look forward to my next challenge within F1."

Rumblings within the industry, as reported by Japanese media outlet as-web.jp, indicate that Sanchez is likely to join the ranks of Alpine – a team currently navigating a tumultuous phase despite works Renault backing.

Speculation is rife that he will assume the mantle of chief technical officer at Alpine, following the departure of both technical director Matt Harman and head of aerodynamics Dirk de Beer.

The narrative suggests that Sanchez's exits from Ferrari and subsequently McLaren were driven by his desire for sole authority in critical engineering decisions, as the outlet stated, "He did not want to share responsibility with other engineers in making the most important decisions."

As-web.jp also posits, "Given that Alpine does not have an undisputed technical leader, Sanchez will become the team's new chief in a role that he has long sought as soon as he finishes his gardening leave in early July."

Should this transition materialise, "Sanchez will influence the design of Alpine's 2025 car," marking a significant potential pivot for the team.

At Suzuka, Bruno Famin, the Alpine team boss, acknowledged his primary objective of "restructuring the team" amidst the challenge of uplifting the performance of 2024's least competitive car.

"I was in Viry for the two last years," Famin remarked. "Now I am in Enstone mainly and we need to really change the way we are working in order to develop our car better. To be more agile, to be more efficient."

"There's a lot to do," admits Famin. "We have started to make some changes in our technical organisation, and my role is putting everything together, changing what we need to change."

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Carlos Sainz Jr in action for McLaren in April 2019
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