Brivio embracing 'fascinating' new challenge of F1

Alpine F1 racing director Davide Brivio at the team's online launch of the A521
© Alpine F1

Former MotoGP team manager Davide Brivio is certainly being thrown in at the deep end as he gets to grips with his new role as Alpine F1's racing director, with just weeks to go before the start of the new Formula 1 season.

Last year Brivio was in charge at Suzuki when it won the motorcycling world championship with Joan Mir taking the rider's title. But F1 will be a totally new experience for the 56-year-old Italian.

"It’s a new role and everything is very interesting," he said on Tuesday at the team's virtual launch of the A521. "I’ve been virtually meeting new people and trying to understand as much as possible how the team operates within the F1 environment.

"There are some aspects which are in common with my previous experiences in motorsport, whereas there are other aspects that are completely new.

"I have followed F1 for a long time," he explained. "I watched the races on TV when I was free, and I used to visit the F1 paddock once or twice a year.

"I used to look at F1 for inspiration to take ideas, which I thought would be good for MotoGP, so I’ve always been used to looking at it from that perspective. To now be involved in it means I’m going to learn much more and see closely how everything operates.

"I do think there is a lot of crossover. F1 and MotoGP are both team-led sports with similar dynamics in terms of a group of people interacting and creating a working environment together.

"The big difference I have seen is the design and development of the car, which of course is much more complex in F1 than MotoGP. In simple terms, it’s a lot more pieces!" he said. "It’s about cutting the timeframe to make everything quicker and quicker. It’s a fascinating process to learn to see how everything is developed and managed.

"The team is operating at a very high level and I’m happy to see how everything is organised. I enter this new environment looking to see how I can contribute."

Asked what his role would be as racing director reporting directly to Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi, Brivio explained that "I’m in charge of all the track operations, I’ll be dealing with everything concerning the trackside team.

"Our target is to use the full potential of the car, which, of course, is developed and prepared at the factories at Enstone and Viry. Once we are at the track, we have to extract the maximum level with what we have. My job is to be responsible for that and co-ordinate everything as best as possible.

"The team has been doing a great job in recent years. We want to see how we continue that, while being more competitive and optimising the operations. There are areas we can improve to maximise the performance of the car.

"It’s a big responsibility knowing there are more than 1,000 people at the factory developing the cars, which is then down to 60 people at the track who have the pressure and responsibility to deliver. I think that is very exciting, though."

Alpine F1 racing director Davide Brivio at the team's online launch of the A521.

© Alpine F1

A key part of his role will be managing the two drivers. Brivio believes that the team's line-up of two-time world champion Fernando Alonso and relative newcomer Esteban Ocon will prove to be a "great combination" in 2021.

"Drivers [in F1] and riders [in MotoGP] will have similar problems and ways of fixing them, while keeping together a good, group spirit," he said.

"The best combination you get is when the two drivers push each other, so I hope we can have this type of situation both from a sport and a performance point of view.

"Fernando is a world champion and one of the biggest talents in F1 who will bring his experience and skill to the team," Brivio asserted. "He has been away for a couple of years to have another experience but now, he wants to come back to F1.

"It shows his strong desire to achieve something here and have good results. He could have had a golden career in other series, but he wanted to get back to the most competitive environment and compete against some of the new talents coming up.

"Esteban is an interesting driver as well and he’s amongst the young generation. Last year he improved a lot by the end of the season. He reached a good level, which means he can look positively at this season continuing with the same team and a similar car.

"I’m looking forward to seeing them pushing each other."

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