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Gasly hints Alpine may purchase rival F1 engine

Gasly hints Alpine may purchase rival F1 engine
© Reuters
Pierre Gasly has intimated that Alpine is seriously considering purchasing a customer engine from another Formula 1 manufacturer.

Pierre Gasly has intimated that Alpine is seriously considering purchasing a customer engine from another Formula 1 manufacturer.

With Renault's factory F1 team facing ongoing performance and personnel issues in 2024, there seems to be little prospect of improvement this weekend in Barcelona.

"We won't have any upgrades in the near future," team driver Gasly acknowledged prior to the Spanish GP.

"I expect the next few grands prix to be quite tough if the conditions are normal."

The relationship between Gasly and his French compatriot Esteban Ocon has also deteriorated, following accusations from Gasly that Ocon was not cooperative on the track during the recent Canadian GP.

"I don't want to comment on that," said Ocon, who is set to leave the team in 2025. "I don't want to talk about Canada anymore."

When comparing his rapport with Ocon to that with world champion Max Verstappen, Gasly noted on Thursday: "I have a good relationship with Max and I have no relationship with Esteban."

As rumors swirl about Renault potentially abandoning its 2026 engine project in favor of a customer Mercedes engine, the notion has been met with skepticism and derision.

"Luca de Meo, the boss of the Renault group, a historic engine manufacturer, is said to have inquired with Red Bull, Honda, and even Mercedes or Ferrari to find out if it would be possible to become a customer team," reported L'Equipe's Frederic Ferret.

"Imagine your baker crossing the street to buy his baguettes from the neighbour before coming back to sell them to you in his shop. Do you find that absurd? I do too," he added.

Jean-Michel Desnoues, writing for France's Auto Hebdo, described the idea as "laughable," with Auto Motor und Sport's Michael Schmidt calling it "crazy."

"Apart from the fact that this shouldn't be allowed because Renault committed itself to 2030 by approving the new engine regulations, you can only shake your head."

Nevertheless, there seems to be some basis for these rumors.

When asked about the potential shift, Gasly suggested that Alpine and Renault are indeed exploring this option as the team seeks to "obtain the best results and extract the maximum performance."

"As a team, it is important to consider all the options and then to form your own opinion on what's best for performance," he added.

"The objective is clear - we want to be competitive, fighting at the front. The team is open about this, I trust the management's decision and have no concerns about it."

"Yes, we would lose our status as a factory team, but the regulations are drawn up in such a way that there is clear parity between the parties, especially in terms of engines," Gasly explained.

Alpine also announced that Flavio Briatore has joined as Renault CEO de Meo's 'executive advisor,' with reports from Auto Bild suggesting the flamboyant Italian may already be negotiating with Mercedes for a 2026 customer engine deal.

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Esteban Ocon at the Italian GP on August 31, 2023
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