Alpine F1 Team has announced that they will do a virtual launch of their 2021 challenger on March 2. The team previously called Renault announced that its car will be called the A521, and will have former two-time world champion Fernando Alonso and youngster Esteban Ocon behind the wheel for the 2021 season.
The team also revealed an interim livery at the start of the year as part of the rebranding process from Renault to Alpine F1.
Early setback for Alpine F1
The French outfit suffered an early setback when their lead driver, Fernando Alonso, returning from a two-year hiatus, was involved in an accident that fractured his jaw. Alonso has since been discharged from the hospital and is under rehabilitation. The Spaniard is, however, expected to recover from the accident before the start of the season.
With the launch just two weeks away, it's highly unlikely that Alonso will be present at the launch. The Enstone-based team underwent major changes since last year, with Alonso replacing Daniel Ricciardo, Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul making way for Davide Brivio and the team itself getting rebranded to Alpine F1.
It's hard to pinpoint what to expect from Alpine in 2021. The team has a new boss in Brivio. In Alonso, they have a new driver coming off a two-year sabbatical while the team in its previous avatar was able to achieve three podiums last season.
The team will be looking to build on its progress last year and try to close the gap to the front. At the same time, the focus will be on the 2022 regulations that could see a major shakeup in the pecking order.
There are also question marks over the competitiveness of Fernando Alonso as he makes his way back to Formula One after a two-year hiatus. How he fares against Esteban Ocon is something that will keep everyone's interest piqued.