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The NFL and Hollywood lessons that Alpine’s US investors bring to F1



It also reflects an intriguing move by Renault to boost the image of its sports car brand and finally, with the participation of Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds and his colleagues Rob McElhenney and Michael B. Generate more income through F1 projects.

Recalling a consortium of three financial entities, Otro Capital, RedBird Capital Partners and Maximum Effort Investments (collectively known as the Investor Group) have paid €200 million for a 24% stake in the team.

The idea of ​​taking on external shareholders for factory teams is not a new idea – after all, Mercedes only owns 33 per cent of the Blakely business after Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS took a stake.

Renault has made a huge commitment to Alpine and the F1 team, and obviously it doesn’t necessarily need to bring in external funding. Even more interesting for the company is the sports and entertainment marketing expertise the Americans bring to the table.

a bit like back then dragon’s lair A TV show in which an entrepreneur with a great idea surprises a potential investor by saying that he or she actually has enough money – all it takes is a partner with the connections and clout to take things to the next level to the next level.

Alpine’s core may be French, but its chief executive, Laurent Rossi, got an MBA from Harvard and worked at the prestigious Boston Consulting Group and Google before returning to Europe. Therefore, his international perspective certainly played an important role in seeking investment from the US, and the fact that team leader Otmar Szafnauer is American enhanced the synergy with the new partner.

“They will help us in the monetization of the business,” Rossi said. “Strictly speaking, not in sport. The people here (Enstone) know what they’re doing. The people at Viry know what they’re doing. They’re going to keep doing what they’re doing.

“They (investors) will help us grow revenue, hospitality, sponsorships, licensing, sales beyond our plans.

Pat Fry, CTO of the Alpine F1 Team and Laurent Rossi, CEO of Alpine

Pat Fry, CTO of the Alpine F1 Team and Laurent Rossi, CEO of Alpine

Photography: Alps

“We’re reinvesting some of that in facilities, tools and equipment. It’s part of a program we’ve started before RedBird joined us, and we call them climbers. You may have heard Otmar say last year that we’re hiring 80 employees, we invest here and there.

“So, obviously, within the constraints of the cost cap, we’re going to simply push the program forward, accelerate it further. That’s how it’s indirectly going to help us continue on our path.”

Rossi expanded on the theme further, adding: “We have a roadmap, if you will. Building it one step at a time is progressive because it takes time to find people and resources to complement our team, because our team Slightly smaller than the top teams.

“So we’re going to continue to grow, expand until we have a similar structure and do things differently. We believe that will make a difference because we have the expertise in that.”

We don’t know how the financing was split among the three investment entities, but we can probably assume the senior partner is the recently formed Otro Capital, as its co-founder Alec Scheiner will be the director of the F1 team and has become the voice of the group people. He and other key members of Otro were previously involved with RedBird, which is actually a sister company.

So, who are these people? What is their sports background? A lawyer by training, Scheiner’s resume includes nearly a decade as senior vice president and general counsel for the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, followed by three years as president of the Cleveland Browns.

One of his key colleagues, Brent Stehlik, also worked in marketing roles with the Cowboys and Browns, and worked in baseball with the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks, and with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Work in hockey.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. As noted, Otro is a new entity, but RedBird has long been involved in a wide range of sports under the leadership of founder Gerry Cardinale, a Harvard and Oxford graduate.

Pierre Gasly, Alpine A523

Pierre Gasly, Alpine A523

Photography: Alps

The company owns a substantial stake in Fenway Sports, whose portfolio includes Liverpool FC, Boston Red Sox and Roush Fenway NASCAR. RedBird also owns AC Milan, Toulouse FC and the Rajasthan Royals cricket team, while its sports portfolio includes high-end hospitality services in the NFL, television networks hosting the New York Yankees, and partnerships with the NFL and MLB Players Associations, These societies focus on image rights and licensing.

The company also ventures into the entertainment business, notably through Skydance Media (producer of the Mission: Impossible, Terminator, Star Trek, Top Gun, Jack Ryan and Jack Reacher franchises) filmmakers), while it also has partnerships with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck through their films. Artist Equity Studio.

The latter adds to the Hollywood glow that Reynolds and his colleagues at Best Effort have brought, having been known to work their magic at Wrexham AFC through the related TV series.

So why are Americans investing in F1, especially Alpine? Essentially just because they thought it was a great deal.

“We’ve been investing in sports for more than 25 years,” says Otro owner Scheiner. “We’ve invested in almost every sport in every country in the world. We’ve worked with the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Yankees, the NFL, the NFL Players Association, we’ve invested in football, we’ve invested in Indian basketball, hockey and cricket.

“So for us, when we think about investing in sports, we look at three things. One, is there valuable intellectual property? Two, can we provide value for the investment we bring in? Three, Do we have like-minded partners? When we think about these things and focus on Alpine, it checks every box.”

Interestingly, given how many wealthy would-be investors have been eyeing F1 teams, Alpine was the first to be approached.

“It starts with our partners, with Laurent and Luca (Renault CEO De Meo),” Scheiner said. “They come to us, and that’s how we want to start these partnerships. Because it shows that we can bring strategic value. So like-minded partnerships are the most important.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine F1 Team, third, with his trophy

Esteban Ocon, Alpine F1 Team, third, with his trophy

Photography: Andy Horn/ motorsport pictures

“We have to start with those who believe in what we believe in, the ability to bring commercial revenue to the table and see it as a scarce asset.”

On the intellectual property angle, Scheiner said: “If you think about F1, or if you think about investing in sports in general, I always say to people, this is an industry where you should never leave your customers.

“So the beauty of sport is that there’s a link between it and your brand that doesn’t get lost just because performance drops off in a year. That’s what we’re finding in F1 around intellectual property. moat.

“So if you take that as a starting point and then look at what Liberty has done, fix the structure of the sport with a cost cap and then launch the sport in the US, we think it’s the perfect time to invest.

“We think the Alpine is the perfect vehicle. A working team, an iconic team, with high performance built in, and the brand is just getting started. That ticks the boxes on the IP.”

The last factor is what can Outlaw and other investors bring to the table?

“Can we help you with anything? That’s probably the most important question for us,” Scheiner said. “For us, all the things we’ve done in our careers, all the investments we’ve made, have helped to help here.

“When I was with the Dallas Cowboys, we built a company called Legends Hospitality. We basically outsourced food and beverage, sales, sponsorships, and ticket sales. We partnered with the NFL as an equity investor to build a company called The “Live Experience” business has taken Super Bowl hospitality to a new level.

“We invested in a business with the Players Guild, built a licensing business around video games and trading cards. All that experience will help to be successful here.

“When we look at the game, we think it’s run really well, the team is run really well. But we do see a lot of benefits. As we saw when we invested in Indian cricket a few years ago, the fact Prove us right.

Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal, Alpine F1 Team Ciaron Pilbeam, Chief Race Engineer, Alpine F1 Team Alan Permane, Director of Track Operations, Alpine F1 Team

Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal, Alpine F1 Team Ciaron Pilbeam, Chief Race Engineer, Alpine F1 Team Alan Permane, Director of Track Operations, Alpine F1 Team

Photography: Alps

“So I’m really grateful for this collaboration. I thank the people at Alpine and Renault for welcoming us and we can’t wait to get started.”

The actual investment is in the Alpine team, but there’s clearly a crossover into the road car segment that can only benefit the brand’s core business. This is where Renault’s association with America starts to make more sense.

Over the past few years, Alpine has gradually raised its profile, shedding what many saw as a niche French company that had long since closed.

Now, the company has ambitious international expansion plans that include a shift to electrification and new models such as the convertible A110, the four-seat A310, the A290 hatchback and, eventually, an SUV.

It’s all underpinned by an easily adaptable aluminum chassis, known as the Alpine Performance Platform or APP, for different body forms.

“This model will obviously help us strengthen our presence in our core markets,” Rossi said. “The United States is an important sports car territory, a very large area. We will enter the United States for all models that will be released from 2027 onwards.”

The expansion plans help bring everything into focus and explain why the American connection is so useful for Alpine. Imagine the exposure Reynolds gets driving an A110 or the car in the movie in Los Angeles.

“We’re a brand that relies on the sports branch, and not just one branch,” Rossi said. “It’s a sports franchise. Even in this space, we’re trying to find the best partner, the best partner, and I believe we’ve found the best partner.

“Our goal is to grow the franchise, the motorsports franchise, and monetize it. Otro Capital, RedBird and Maximum Effort have found the perfect partner for us.”

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523

Photography: Andy Horn/ motorsport pictures


Vandoorne to drive Aston Martin F1 car in Pirelli tyre test at Spa




Aston reserve driver Vandoorne will share driving duties with team principal Lance Stroll, while Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri will each drive a day for McLaren.

It will be the Belgian’s first time driving an active F1 car on track since December 2020 when he represented Mercedes in Abu Dhabi testing.

While the Spa test will focus on Pirelli’s no-carpet tyres, it will give Vandoorne a valuable opportunity to sample the 2023 car, helping him correlate with Aston Martin’s simulator work.

If either Stroll or Fernando Alonso were unwell at any point for the rest of the season, his life would also be made easier.

The 31-year-old shared the Aston substitute with defending Formula Two champion Felipe Drugovich, and the two took turns on call.

Dubovic drove the AMR23 for two days during the Bahrain test in February, when Stroll was not present, and he had the opportunity to test drive the AMR23. Since then, the Brazilian has continued to rack up more miles in private testing of the 2021 car.

Stoffel Vandoorne, Reserve Driver, Aston Martin F1 Team

Stoffel Vandoorne, Reserve Driver, Aston Martin F1 Team

Photography: Mark Sutton/ motorsport pictures

As well as his role at Aston, Vandoorne is one of McLaren’s backup drivers and his performance at Spa will also make it easier for him to step into the MCL60 should the need arise.

As well as giving him a general feel for downforce levels for 2023, the two cars share the Mercedes powerplant and thus have similar settings on their respective steering wheels.

Also read:

Vandoorne made his F1 debut for McLaren in Bahrain in 2016, replacing current Aston team-mate Alonso.

He then completed two full seasons in 2017 and 2018, the first with Honda power and the second with Renault. He finished 16th at the World Championships in both seasons, with a best finish of seventh.

He was dropped by McLaren at the end of 2018, but has since rebuilt his career in Formula E, winning the 2021-22 championship for Mercedes and serving as an F1 substitute.

He currently drives for the DS Penske Formula E team and is also a substitute for the Peugeot WEC team.

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McLaren “true contenders” for F1 best of the rest tag




McLaren has only scored one point after three rounds in 2023 as it struggles to find the car competitive.

But both Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri have seen plenty of upgrades in recent races, allowing the former to finish second in a row, while Piastri has finished in the top five in each of his past two races.

Despite being 136 points behind second-placed Mercedes in the constructors’ championship, Russell believes McLaren is a real threat for the remainder of the race behind leaders Red Bull.

“Obviously they’re a real contender for second fastest team,” Russell said of Woking.

“Oddly enough, Aston Martin was clearly second at the start of the year.

“And they don’t seem to be that competitive now. Ferrari haven’t made much progress. McLaren has made huge progress.

“So without McLaren we’d be very, very happy with the progress we’ve made. Leading the midfield, widening the gap and closing in on Red Bull.

“McLaren has just fully embraced it. But that makes you optimistic that bigger strides are possible.

“I believe in my team. I think it gives us the confidence and optimism to take this step towards Red Bull.

“We’re not too focused on McLaren, Aston or Ferrari. We’re focused on Red Bull. We’re trying to make that big step.”

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14

Photography: Steve Etherington/ motorsport pictures

Russell fought his way back from 18th on the grid at last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, jumping to sixth at the checkered flag after Mercedes strategists told him 11th was his favorite.

Russell was pleased with the final result, but felt it was “proof” of a “missed opportunity” for Hungary.

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“The strategy tells me that if we maximize everything, the P11 is the most realistic, the P7 is the most realistic,” Russell told Autosport.

“Sixth place without a safety car, without a VSC, it’s a really great result.

“But it also proved that this weekend could be a missed opportunity. I believe I could have gone there with Lewis yesterday, it’s one of my favorite circuits and the car always does well here.

“When you have two cars out there, fighting for second gives you more options, and Lewis is also very strong. If things turned out a little differently, he would also be P2.

“So as a missed opportunity we will learn from it. But the positive side is we are leading Aston and Ferrari.”

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Top speed, car sizes, race weekends and more compared




Formula 1 has relied on junior classes to develop the next generation of drivers, and its teams are eager to snag their brightest talent.

The ‘old’ Formula 2 car was a ruleset rather than its own separate entity, sometimes sharing the grid with F1, and later rule changes made the two cars separate championships.

The second class was renamed the F3000 in 1985 as the series switched to a naturally aspirated engine formula and extended the life of the earlier Cosworth DFV lineage. Throughout the life of the F3000, different engine and chassis suppliers came and went, with companies including Reynard, Lola, Ralt and March among them, all producing cars before the championship became a single specification.

When the F3000 championship began to fade due to declining team interest and declining track quality, the second level of racing was reborn in 2005. Bernie Ecclestone tried to bring the junior championship to F1’s bottom line and, along with Flavio Briatore and Bruno Michel, helped build the GP2 series.

GP2 became the FIA ​​Formula Two Championship in 2017, but many key hallmarks of GP2’s early series have stood the test of time. The GP3 series, a third-tier category designed to compete with the myriad Formula 3 championships around it, was added to the F1 Act in 2010 and became FIA ​​Formula 3 in 2019.

There are major differences in the way F2 is run compared to F1, there are subtle changes in form and there are big differences in the overall performance of the cars. The following are the key areas of comparison between F1 and F2.

F1 vs. F2 – key differences


Formula 1

Formula Two

top speed

220+ mph

208 mph

Minimum weight including driver

798 kg

788 kg




engine size

1.6 liter V6

3.4 liter V6

Approximate Power

1,000 horsepower

620 hp

car size

5.63m x 2m x 0.95m

5.22m x 1.9m x 1.09m

tire size

18 inches

18 inches

game every weekend

One (two for sprint weekends)

Two (one sprint, one feature)

game length

305 km/190 miles

Sprint – 120 km/74.5 miles

Features – 170 km/105.6 miles






twenty two

2023 Pole Times – Red Bull Ring

1 point 04.391

1 meter 14,643

2023 Pole Times – Monaco

1 meter 11.365

1 meter 21.053

2023 Pole Times – Silverstone

1 meter 26.720

1 meter 39,832

Current single-spec F2 cars can be seen as simpler, smaller versions of F1 cars

Current single-spec F2 cars can be seen as simpler, smaller versions of F1 cars

Photography: Simon Galloway/ motorsport pictures

What is the difference between F1 and F2 racing?

In F1, each team designs its own chassis according to a set of well-defined technical regulations laid down by the FIA. For the 2022 ruleset, the FIA ​​has updated the wording of the rules to better define the bounding box within which bodies can be developed and build a system more in line with the proliferation of available CAD products.

It features a range of safety systems such as a roll cage, halo and anti-intrusion panels mounted around the monocoque. There are also anti-collision structures on the side, front and rear of the car to minimize the impact on the driver in the car.

F2 is a single-spec series with all teams using the Dallara F2 2018 model. The car and driver must weigh a minimum of 788kg and feature F1 standard safety features such as the aforementioned crash structures and halos. Use only parts supplied by Dallara, Hewland or sold by F2 promoters.

F2 cars use floor venturi tunnels, which F1 adopts in 2022, 40 years after banning ground-effect aerodynamics. These designs aren’t as extreme as those in F1, but they work on the same principle, and the car is also enhanced with front and rear wings to create downforce. Like F1, F2 cars are fitted with a Drag Reduction System (DRS), which operates on the same parameters as its parent series.

While F1 cars typically reach speeds in excess of 220 mph during a race, with DRS switched on, an F2 car could theoretically hit 208 mph at full low downforce.

What is the difference between F1 and F2 tires?

Pirelli supplies all championships on the official F1 ladder, and F2 and F3 also use the Italian company’s rubber.

F2 started using 18-inch tires in 2020, two years before entering F1. F2 tires are slightly narrower than F1 tires and generally have less grip because of the naturally lower speeds of the junior series cars.

There are four dry-weather tire compounds for the F2: hard, medium, soft and supersoft – with the first three using the same white, yellow and red color coding as the F1. Extra soft textures are indicated by purple text on the side walls. Each car is supplied with five sets of dry weather tires per wheel, consisting of two of the prescribed compounds, with a set of “premium” tires to be returned after practice. Three sets of wet tires are also available – the F2 has no intermediate compound.

Tire blankets are banned in F2, meaning drivers must warm up their tires naturally. This often creates a larger offset during the pit stops, with drivers leaving the pits vulnerable to those who have already completed laps in the new group.

The “primary” and “option” compounds (harder tires are the main tires and softer tires are the options) must be used during featured races, and pit stops are required to replace them. Tire parking is allowed during a sprint, but not mandatory. Since only two dry compounds are used each weekend, Pirelli and F2 decide which tire to use before the weekend. There may be a single step in the compound (for example, medium and soft), or there may be a larger step for greater excursions (for example, medium and extra soft).

620bhp Mecachrome F2 engine

620bhp Mecachrome F2 engine

Photography: Sutton Images

What is the difference between F1 and F2 powertrains?

F1 has used a turbo-hybrid system since 2014, with a turbocharger and a motor-generator set on the rear axle to form a hybrid package. The internal combustion engine is a 1.6-liter V6. By 2022, F1 engines run on E10 fuel, where 10% of the fuel composition consists of combustibles of biosourced origin.

The MGU-K in an F1 car can produce up to 160bhp for a total power output of around 1000bhp. Figures for F1’s current four powertrain manufacturers (Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Red Bull Powertrain) vary but are all believed to have efficiencies in excess of 50%.

F2’s single-spec powertrain is produced by French manufacturer Mecachrome, which briefly participated in F1 in 1998 and 1999, and took over Renault’s engine program. The Mecachrome unit was a 3.4-litre V6 engine, virtually the same one used in the F3, but with a modified turbocharger from Van der Lee. It produces around 620bhp and is driven by a six-speed Hewland gearbox.

To ensure fairness in powertrain supply, Mecachrome units are randomly assigned to teams, as there may be minor differences in overall power output.

F2 is currently being used as a test bed to assist F1 in developing more sustainable fuel, using Aramco-produced fuel with 55% of its content from sustainable bio-sources, with the aim of increasing this figure to 100% by 2026/27. The Saudi oil brand replaced longtime supplier Elf as the sole producer of the F2 fuel.

How much does F1 cost compared to F2?

In recent years, Formula 1 has been constrained by a cost cap of about $135 million through 2023, with some minor adjustments for inflation and other ancillary costs. The cost cap covers most development and operating costs, but excludes driver salaries, salaries of the team’s three highest-paid employees, travel costs and marketing expenses. As Red Bull found out in 2022, violating this cap carries a range of penalties depending on the extent of the overrun.

The bulk of this budget comes from the FIA’s prize money, investment and sponsorship mix. Some teams, such as Red Bull and Mercedes, are self-sufficient in terms of bonuses and sponsors and do not require direct input from their ownership structures.

F2 teams have much smaller budgets, and with the series’ fairly limited reach, teams will rarely start the season with a full sponsor portfolio ready to fund every race. As such, drivers should pay for their rides through their own sponsors or a driver academy.

Depending on the team, the budget of an F2 driver can vary from 2 million to 3 million euros, and can even exceed this budget to get a seat in a better team. To keep costs down, F2 limited the number of employees working on each car on race weekends and designed the cars to be relatively cheap. A team can buy a complete F2 car, without the engine, for around 500,000 euros.

George Russell, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc are recent notable F2 graduates entering F1

George Russell, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc are recent notable F2 graduates entering F1

Photography: Glenn Dunbar/ motorsport pictures

How do drivers get from F2 to F1?

To compete in F2, drivers must hold an A or B international FIA license. They cannot conduct private tests on F2 machines, only the group tests offered by the series. There are also restrictions on the single-seater cars that drivers can test in private, and if a driver is double-duty in another category, they must commit to racing in F2 in the event of any conflict.

Depending on a driver’s final standing at the end of the F2 season, they may receive Superlicense points to help qualify for F1. To obtain a super license to compete in F1, a driver needs to earn 40 points.

The distribution of Super License points is:

end of season position

SL points

first place


second place


third place


fourth place


the fifth place


sixth place


Number 7


number 8




No. 10


These can be applied cumulatively over the course of three seasons.

F1 VS F2 weekend format

F1 has been running in the same basic format for years, with FP1 and FP2 taking place on Fridays, each one hour long. FP3 races are also one hour long and take place on the Saturday before the three-stage qualifying format in place since 2006. F1 races must be at least 305 kilometers in length (excluding Monaco) and must not exceed two hours in duration, with a three-hour window if any red flags are raised.

However, sprint weekends are different and that changes for 2023. The only practice session kicked off with Friday’s race, followed by qualifying for Sunday’s Grand Prix. Sprint qualifying and the race are both held on Saturdays, with 2023 seeing six sprint weekends for added variety.

F2 has a practice session lasting 45 minutes on Friday, with a half-hour qualifying session later in the day. It’s effectively a time trial and drivers just need to maintain the fastest lap at the end of the race to secure pole for Sunday’s race.

Many F1 teams have junior drivers in F2 teams

Many F1 teams have junior drivers in F2 teams

Photography: Red Bull Content Pool

The sprint race takes place on Saturday, using the same grid as qualifying, but with the top ten swapped. The number of laps “equal to the minimum number of complete laps over a distance of 120 km (100 km in Monaco)”, according to the 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 scoring system, the score is finally dropped to eighth place, and the fastest lap points are awarded to the top 10 competitors.

The F2 weekend’s featured race “should be equal to the minimum number of complete laps over a distance of 170km (140km in Monaco, 160km in Budapest)”. It features mandatory pit stops where drivers must use both primary and optional compounds during the race. If a driver pits before completing the sixth lap, the mandatory stop does not count. This information is also not recorded if a driver stops under the Virtual Safety Car unless they are already in the pits when the VSC is triggered.

F2 attempted three weekend races in 2021, but the practice was generally unpopular and canceled for 2022 due to gaps left on the calendar. Prior to this, the main race was held on Saturday, and the starting position of the sprint race was determined by the results and the reversal of the top eight.

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