Alpine's avalanche: Last one to leave turns off the lights

Renault becomes Alpine, and Rossi arrives

The 2020 season hinted that they might have finally turned a corner, with Daniel Ricciardo taking the team's first podium since 2011 at the Eifel GP, an achievement followed in 2021 by Esteban Ocon's surprise win in Hungary in 2021.

However, that progress was soon overtaken by Ricciardo leaving for McLaren, and the team itself being rebranded Alpine under new brand CEO Laurent Rossi as part of a strategy to boost the company's sports car business (and also perhaps to distance the Renault brand from the team's struggles).

Abiteboul abruptly left without notice or reason before the new season, suggesting a disagreement between himself and Rossi and/or the Renault board about the direction things were going. Former FIA executive Marcin Budkowski eventually arrived as team principal and Pat Fry took over from Nick Chester as chief technology officer. The silver lining was the return of Fernando Alonso to the driver line-up.

But within a year, Budkowski had gone, as had non-executive director Alain Prost, a four-time F1 world champion who had seriously fallen out with Rossi.

"Rossi is the best example of the Dunning-Kruger effect, that of an inept manager who thinks he can overcome his incompetence with his arrogance and his lack of humanity towards his people," Prost told L'Equipe last week.

"He was Alpine's boss for 18 months and thought he understood everything from the outset, yet that couldn't be further from the truth. His management stopped the momentum the team had built since 2016, achieving these podiums and that win."