Renault has undergone the most significant changes for the 2021 season. First off, it has been rebranded as Alpine Racing. The Alpine name is not new to motorsports and it’s exciting to see it enter Formula 1 especially with their stunning livery for the 2021 contender: the A521.
It is a welcome change from the relatively subdued black and yellow Renault livery of the last couple of years. The A521 is bright blue with a red tail and a smattering of white details, keeping in the theme of the French colours. It’s powered by the Renault E-Tech 20B power unit for the new season and Alpine will be the only team this year to use a Renault powertrain.
Other changes for the team include new leadership under Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi as former Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul announced his departure at the start of 2021. The driver’s lineup has two familiar faces: Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso. While the young Frenchman is still improving with every season, he will have the benefit of working alongside the two-time World Champion. Alonso returns to F1 after a two-year gap during which he continued to participate in other motorsports such as IndyCar and WEC. The Spaniard had a bitter departure from the F1 grid in 2018 after many difficult seasons at McLaren.
Alonso’s signing is good for the development of the team but there was some criticism that signing the veteran driver was taking chances away from younger drivers. It’ll be interesting to see how he fares against a proven talent like Esteban Ocon. Renault had made a lot of progress in the second half of the 2020 season and if Alpine can arrive on the scene with a similar pace, they could be strong contenders for third in the constructor’s standings.
The A521’s wide airbox above the driver’s head does stand out from the rivals and its livery is possibly the prettiest one this year. Which Alpine driver do you think will be higher in the standings after the first 7 races? Do you think we might see an Alonso podium in 2021? Share your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to the Auto Loons for more F1 updates and news about cool cars.