Alpine F1 appoints Sanchez as executive technical director


Alpine F1 has announced the appointment of former Ferrari and McLaren engineer David Sanchez as its Executive Technical Director.

It’s a return to Enstone for the French engineer who started his career in Formula 1 as a junior aerodynamicist for Renault back in 2005.

A long-standing designer and head of vehicle concept at Ferrari, Sanchez left the Italian outfit last year to join McLaren at the start of 2024.

However, Sanchez did not find at team papaya the duties and responsibilities that had been initially agreed upon with McLaren, which led to his departure from Woking last month.

Landing at Alpine, Sanchez will oversee the technical department based at Enstone and will have overall responsibility of the Performance, Engineering, and Aerodynamic areas of the team.

The Frenchman will manage the three key areas that fall under the recently announced three-pillared technical structure, with Ciaron Pilbeam (Technical Director - Performance), Joe Burnell (Technical Director - Engineering), and David Wheater (Technical Director - Aerodynamics) all reporting to him.

Sanchez himself will report directly to Alpine F1 team principal Bruno Famin.

“I am delighted to welcome David back to Enstone, where he started his career back in 2005,” commented Famin.

“This is a key appointment to ensure we are optimising everything we do as a team and focusing on the right performance areas.

“It is clear that the performance of the car and development path has not moved at a sufficient pace relative to our ambitions as a team. We look forward to welcoming David and working hard together to achieve the ultimate success.”

Alpine has been stuck in a rut since last season, when former team boss Otmar Szafnauer and sporting director Alan Permane left the squad along with chief technical officer Pat Fry who moved to Williams.

Alpine’s engineering department was further shaken up earlier this year when technical director Matt Harman and head of aerodynamics Dirk de Beer left the team.

Sanchez arrival and Alpine’s new organizational structure will hopefully help stabilize the beleaguered outfit which has yet to score a top-ten finish this season.

“I’m excited by this challenge at Alpine,” said Sanchez. “I’m looking forward to working at Enstone again, the place where I started my Formula 1 career.

“This team has always had so many fantastic people involved and there is clearly so much potential to unlock.

“We have a big task ahead to improve on-track performance and it is this type of challenge that motivates me.

“I’m very much ready to begin and look forward to working with the Enstone-Viry technical teams again with the sole aim of bringing regular success back to this great team.”

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter