Marko's advice to Alpine: 'Sell your team to Andretti!'


Red Bull's Helmut Marko believes that Alpine would be well inspired to sell itself to Michael Andretti, a move that would serve everyone's interests but that would also allow Renault to remain in F1.

The spotlights have been shining on the Enstone squad, but for all the wrong reasons following the team's decision to part ways with its two most senior figures, team principal Otmar Szafnauer and long-standing sporting director Alan Permane.

The decisions have once again left Alpine in a state of flux, with the manufacturer's VP of motorsport Bruno Famin left to deal on an interim basis with the outfit's day-to-day affairs while concocting a comprehensive plan for the near future.

In France and in Italy, rumors are swirling that Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo has convinced former Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto to take the lead at Alpine, perhaps even as early as next month if Ferrari accepts to shorten the Italian's current gardening leave period.

Marko believes that Renault should throw in the towel and cut its losses by selling its F1 team to Andretti, especially given the latter's seemingly low chances of joining the grid on its own due to F1's opposition to accepting an eleventh team within its ranks.

"Andretti should buy the Alpine team," Marko told "That would be best served for everyone.

"Formula 1 would keep its ten teams, Andretti could finally get in and Renault would still be involved."

Renault's current troubles aren't just organizational. It's power unit suffers a significant deficit relative to its rivals, so much so that Alpine has lobbied the FIA to receive additional development time – outside of F1's regulatory engine freeze – to improve its unit and help it catch up with its competitors.

While Ferrari and Mercedes have expressed their reluctance towards an equalization process that would pull up Alpine, Red Bull isn't against the principle, as long as any measures applied to Renault don't impact its competitors.

"At least we were not against it when it came to the Renault case," Marko said.

"But it must be clearly demonstrated that the performance gap is significant. And it must be ensured that measures are taken that do not weaken the rest of us.

"The application has therefore been put on hold at the moment.

"I can understand Alpine’s problems. It’s not just about engine performance.

"If you are too far behind in performance, you will have to make compromises with the car set-up to compensate for the lack of speed on the straights, which can amount to a loss of up to three-tenths. And that comes at the expense of the driving characteristics of the car."

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