Groupe Renault has named Laurent Rossi as the new head of Alpine, which includes both the sports car brand and all of its motorsport projects, including Formula 1.
Rossi, currently Groupe Renault’s director of strategy and business development, will take over from Cyril Abiteboul, who has been in charge of Renault’s F1 team since 2014 and last year was placed in overall charge of Alpine as part of a revival plan instituted last September by new Groupe Renault boss Luca de Meo.
Under the plan, Groupe Renault’s operations were restructured around four core business pillars: Renault, Dacia, Alpine and a New Mobility operation. The new plan secured the long-term future of Alpine, which until then had been in doubt.,
The Alpine business unit included the road car brand, which was revived to produce the A110 sports car, and the group’s motorsport activities. The Renault F1 team will be rebranded as Alpine F1 this year, with the firm also backing an LMP1 operation in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Abiteboul’s surprise departure from Groupe Renault comes ahead of de Meo unveiling a new ‘Renaulution’ strategy for the French firm that's expected to include confirmation that Alpine into an electric performance car brand.
De Meo thanked Abiteboul “for his tireless involvement, which notably led the Renault F1 Team from the penultimate place in 2016 to the podiums last season”.
Rossi, 45, began his automotive career in Renault’s mechanical engineering department. He subsequently worked for the Boston Consulting Group and Google, before returning to Renault in 2018 to lead the firm’s strategy and business development.
While Abiteboul’s role was seemingly set to encompass leading the Alpine business unit and continuing to run the F1 team, reports suggest that Davide Bravo, who recently left his role as the boss of Suzuki’s MotoGP squad, will take over as head of the Alpine F1 operation.