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Former Alpine chief set for F1 return with new team

Former Alpine chief set for F1 return with new team

Former Alpine sporting director Alan Permane is reportedly set to join AlphaTauri ahead of the new F1 season.

The 56-year-old engineer left Alpine last summer amid a shake-up of personnel, despite 34 years’ worth of experience at the team rebranded throughout the years as Benetton, Renault and Lotus.

His track record, which include world championships with Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso, meant Permane was always likely to be in-demand once his contract formally ran out.

AlphaTauri, the Red Bull junior team who finished eighth in the constructors’ championship last year, lost long-term boss Franz Tost at the end of last season and, according to Motorsport.com, have moved to secure Permane’s services for 2024.

Permane would work under new AlphaTauri team principal Laurent Mekies, formerly of Ferrari, and alongside the driver pairing of Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda.

Christian Horner, who is embarking on his 20th season as Red Bull team principal this year, was full of praise for Permane when he departed Alpine last July.

“Alan Permane is one of the rocks of F1,” he said. “He is one of the longest standing senior engineers in the sport, and certainly someone with a lot of knowledge.

Alan Permane is set to join AlphaTauri (Getty Images)
Alan Permane is set to join AlphaTauri (Getty Images)

“I don’t know about the ins and outs of the management reshuffle there, but there is a lot of very respectable people in there. And definitely, you shouldn’t discount anyone of that seniority.

“Whilst I’ve never worked with Alan Permane, I think sometimes there has to be respect shown for somebody that’s put in 34 years of hard graft and been involved in world championships with Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso.

“He has also been a steady hand during periods of that team going into administration, and out of administration, and into different ownership and so on.

“He’s very much been a constant there during that period. I think that earns respect and recognition, and I’m sure he’s a guy, like with Otmar, that won’t find themselves out of work. It won’t be the last you’ve seen of them in the pitlane, no doubt about that.”

The 2024 F1 season starts on Saturday 2 March with the Bahrain Grand Prix.