Alpine: The option to supply Andretti with our F1 engines “has expired”

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Speculation has been rife for some time that Andretti would enter the grid with a car that would start with Alpine power units as well as some other parts from the French marque as part of a process in which, in the long term, General Motors and Cadillac would take over the reigns and develop the package.

Last week, the FIA announced that it would accept the American marque’s application, turning the F1 grid into an 11-team, 22-driver grid and passing the matter to the FOM, which would have to reach a commercial agreement with the Indianapolis-based outfit. But just as Andretti’s plans seemed to be going smoothly in regards to having everything sorted on the car and engine sids, a small detail has emerged: the plan for Renault/Alpine to supply them with engine and parts support is no longer on the table.

Bruno Famin, who heads the French team, commented that this was the case until the deal expired.

“We had a pre-contract with Andretti, which has expired because they were supposed to be granted entry into F1 before a certain date.

Photo credit: Alpine F1 Team

“It means that right now, if we want to do something with Andretti, we have to negotiate a full contract, a formal contract. So right now, we have absolutely no contract with Andretti.”

The Alpine boss also clarified that after the contract expired, the French marque had not had any further talks with the American squad, and that this could happen again as long as Andretti and FOM come to an agreement and it is clear that the Indianapolis-based team will join the grid.

“Everyone knows what the situation is,” Famin added. “We need something, and we need a decision from F1 before we resume with Andretti.”

Famin added that there are time factors that are very important in these negotiations, as having a new power unit project is not such a quick process. These statements could mean that, if a decision is not made before the beginning of next year, it would be too late to start the project and supply the American brand for 2025, even though there are some parts that could be done.

“I’m not talking [only] about Andretti, but we started the supply of parts for the season a long time before,” he said.

“Of course, depending on what the situation is, there are some things we will be able to do and some things we won’t be able to do.”

“But, at the moment, it’s even useless to talk about that, because let’s see, we don’t have the starting point.”

The Frenchman stressed that the entry of an 11th team on the grid should only be approved if he can prove that it would bring a benefit to the top category:

“We have nothing against 11 teams if they really bring real added value to the business as a whole, and to F1 in general,” he said.

“It’s up to F1, to the promoter, to assess what is the real added value that an 11th team can bring. And if they assess that there really is a lot of added value, we will be happy with that.

“What we don’t want is for an eleventh team to dilute the value of our assets in the championship. Of course, if that is the case, we will be against it.”