Chandok fears Alpine will go the way of Toyota in F1

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Sky F1 analyst Karun Chandhok fears the current disruption at Alpine could lead the French outfit to suffer the same fate as Toyota in F1.

Alpine's performance this year has been underwhelming, with the team slipping to sixth place in the Constructors' Championship, having scored just 57 points across the first 12 races of the 2023 season.

In the wake of the team's underperformance, Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo opted to gut Alpine's management by first deposing chief executive Laurent Rossi and then, a few weeks later at Spa, by parting ways with team principal Otmar Szafnauer and long-standing sporting director Alan Permane.

Chandhok does not believe that the changes bode well for Alpine's future in Formula 1, the Sky F1 pundit drawing a parallel with Toyota's ill-fated history in the sport.

The Japanese manufacturer competed for eight seasons in F1, and spent lavishly but never came near to achieving its ambitions. It eventually threw in the towel and left the sport with little to show for its hapless efforts.

"The reality is that they are the sixth best team on the grid with the sixth fastest car, but they are the third largest global brand in the automotive world," argued the former F1 driver.

"Your results are not good enough. My concern is if they are going to continue with managers who come from outside the world of motorsport and F1.

Otmar Szafnauer (USA) Alpine F1 Team, Team Principal (Left) and Laurent Rossi (FRA) Alpine Chief Executive Officer (Right). 05.03.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, Race Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

"If you look at the people who are in some departments of Enstone, they have been signed up from the road car division.

"The same thing happened to Toyota 20 years ago. They are going down a path where they can throw in the towel with Formula 1 or they are going down a corporate path that I am convinced is not going to work."

In addition to Szafnauer and Permane's departures, Alpine also saw chief technical officer Pat Fry walk out the door, with the British engineer moving to Williams.

Chandhok sees the latest movements as a reflection of a clear lack of direction at the team.

"Three great figures have left," he commented. "Alan Permane had been there for more than 33 years and Pat Fry seems to have left on his own, no one has thrown him out.

"He is a great signing for Williams and at Alpine I think there is a lack of direction.

"For me, they have fired important people in the operational aspect and from within the track, so I think you already know where your problems are."

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