There has been a big shake-up at Alpine with Laurent Rossi being named as the CEO of the company and in charge of the company’s sporting activities, including the Formula 1 team. The news is a surprise.
Abiteboul, 43, is leaving the company after 20 years. It remains to be seen whether he is moving to a new role in Formula 1.
This is the second major move of the offseason affecting the formerly branded Renault F1 team. Renault president Jerome Stoll, who led the company’s Formula 1 and Formula E efforts since 2016, stepped down at the end of 2020. That announcement came on Dec. 15.
The team is also in the midst of a major driver change, as two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso has replaced Daniel Ricciardo for 2021.
Rossi began his career with Renault in 2000 as a development engineer, after completing a Masters in mechanical engineering. In 2009 he left the firm after finishing an MBA course at Harvard and joined the Boston Consulting Group in New York, as the firm’s automotive industry expert.
In 2012, he moved to Google to develop commercial relations with automotive industry companies, firstly in Paris for the Europe region, then in New York for the Americas region and then globally. He returned to Renault in 2018 and was named vice president of Corporate Strategy and Business Development in 2019. He is a member of Groupe Renault Management Committee.
It has yet to be announced what roles will be taken by others but it is expected that MotoGP team boss Davide Brivio will join the team, working alongside the team’s executive director Marcin Budkowski. Should Brivio come on board, he would also be a likely candidate for team principal duties on the F1 side.
“I would like to thank the Groupe Renault for having trusted me for many years, particularly with the relaunch and reconstruction of the team since 2016,” Abiteboul said. “The solid foundations of the racing team and the entities in France and England built over these years, the strategic evolution of the sport towards a more economically sustainable model, and more recently the Alpine project which provides a renewed sense of meaning and dynamism, all point to a very fine trajectory.
“I would like to thank Luca de Meo for involving me in the construction of the Alpine Business Unit and I wish the new structure every success.”
De Meo, CEO at Renault, said that Abiteboul’s work had been remarkable.
“I would like to warmly thank Cyril for his tireless involvement, which notably led the Renault F1 Team from the penultimate place in 2016 to the podiums last season,” he said. “His remarkable work in F1 since 2007 allows us to look to the future, with a strong team and the new Alpine F1 Team identity to conquer the podiums this year.”
Renault finished fifth in the 2020 F1 Constructors’ Championship standings. The team was also fifth in 2019 after finishing fourth in 2018.
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