Alpine presents its single-seater with … Zinédine Zidane as a new recruit
Zidane, shock rookie for the French team. DANIEL LEAL / AFP The A523 of the…
Zidane, shock rookie for the French team. DANIEL LEAL / AFP
The A523 of the French team was presented this Thursday evening in London with a nice surprise, the presence of Zinedine Zidane, future brand ambassador.
Special envoy to London
The ball of single-seater presentations for the 2023 Formula 1 season ended in London this Thursday with Alpine. After the Palais de Tokyo and the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop, the French brand had chosen to alternate by creating the event in the British capital, a good two-hour drive from its headquarters in Enstone where the chassis are designed. Formula 1 cars (the engine is fitted in Viry-Châtillon).
It’s an understatement to say that Alpine pulled out all the stops for this event organized in a trendy London venue. More than 600 people were invited to the presentation followed by an evening with a DJ. Among them, a surprise and very prestigious guest: Zinédine Zidane. The public appearances of the former Real Madrid coach are very rare. “Zizou» had already made a detour to the Alpine facilities a few months ago, on the occasion of the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix. He will take on the costume of brand ambassador.
“I am delighted to be here. I saw great things and I’m happy to be part of the team. It’s always a meeting that triggers something and I had met the team at a grand prix. Alpine wants to give young people a chanceZidane explained, referring to the brand’s very aggressive scouting program, especially around young female prospects. “It’s a project that I like around equal opportunities“, commented the former Blue in French, apologizing for the non-mastery of English. “ I expect one thing, it is to be at work, to have experiences with these young people and to share my experience. I was a kid, I was given my chance and that speaks to meAdded the former Ballon d’Or.
But the queen of the evening was the A523 presented in two versions, one predominantly very pink and the other two-tone, blue and pink. No apparent change jumping to the eyes, therefore, compared to last year. With this single-seater, the French team hopes to confirm its good results having taken it to fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship.
“We have progressed over the past two seasons and the team has gone from strength to strength. Our commitment to Formula 1 is for the long term and our ambition is to get closer to the Top teams. Talking to everyone and observing the work done this winter, I have the feeling that we are on the right track “, confided Lucas de Meo, the general manager of Renault who did not utter the word “ victoire ” in his speech : “ We got about 150 points last year, we still have to improve with Esteban and Pierre by getting podiums which will make our Sundays more fun.»
Objectives confirmed by Laurent Rossi, the boss of the team who pointed in his viewfinder Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari. “A little over two years ago, when we started the Alpine adventure in Formula 1, we set ourselves the goal of reaching the top. We have given ourselves about five years to achieve this, it is not a sprint but a marathon. We finished fifth, then fourth and logically, we want to aim higher but the gap with the leading teams is big, we know that. The objective will be to finish fourth again but with fewer retirements. I know that Pierre and Estaban are capable of it“, confided the leader specifying to aim “more podiums.»
Ambitious Ocon and Gasly
Hopes also defended by Esteban Ocon who will have a new teammate, Pierre Gasly, replacing Fernando Alonso who migrated to Aston Martin. “It has been a good winter with a lot of work in England and France to fill the gap with the front teams. 2022 has been a solid season with good results with regular places in the Top 10 but we want even more, to be even more consistent and to get closer to the Top 3“, confided the Norman. “It’s very exciting to mark this new start in my career with this new car.“, rejoiced his compatriot. “It’s gonna be great to write a new story togetheradded Ocon, recalling the young years of the two drivers on the karting tracks.
So many good intentions that will now have to be converted into action, starting on March 5, with the Bahrain Grand Prix, the opening round of the championship which will include 23 races, a record.