Dakar Rally News: Alpine Executive Advisor Briatore Confident of Podium Finishes by 2026

    Alpine Executive Advisor Flavio Briatore has expressed his confidence in the team’s ability to win races and secure podium finishes by the 2026 season, as the team undergoes a technical revamp with several key hires from rival competitors.

    Briatore, who previously served as the team’s principal from 2000 to 2009, has returned to the Enstone-based squad as an advisor to CEO Luca De Meo. This announcement comes amidst a positive upturn in Alpine’s competitiveness, having extended their points-scoring streak to four consecutive races at the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend.

    Despite the team’s current eighth-place standing in the Constructors’ Championship, Briatore believes the upcoming changes to the technical regulations in 2026 will provide Alpine with opportunities to challenge for victories. “In 2026 I will win races, the Alpine will be on the podium; then, how many we will be able to do, I don’t know,” Briatore told ‘La Politica nel pallone’ on Radio Rai.

    Technical Revamp and Key Hires

    To bolster their technical capabilities, Alpine has recruited several experienced personnel from Ferrari and Red Bull. These include:

    • Michael Broadhurst as Chief Aerodynamicist
    • Vin Dhanani as Head of Vehicle Performance
    • Jacopo Fantoni as Deputy Chief Engineer

    These hires come as the team has seen the departures of Technical Director Matt Harman and Head of Aerodynamics Dirk de Beer earlier in the season.

    Furthermore, Alpine has also brought on board David Sanchez as their new Technical Director, who previously worked at McLaren. Sanchez will be positioned at the top of the team’s revised three-pronged technical structure, which also includes Broadhurst, Dhanani, and Fantoni.

    Future Aspirations and Speculation

    Briatore’s bold proclamation of Alpine’s aspirations for 2026 comes amidst ongoing speculation about the team’s future, including rumors of shutting down its engine division and reverting to a customer team arrangement. The seasoned Italian advisor has also been linked to potential efforts to bring in outgoing Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz to partner with the renewed Pierre Gasly in 2025.

    As Alpine continues to reshape its technical team and set sights on the 2026 season, Dakar Rally enthusiasts will be watching closely to see if the team can deliver on Briatore’s promise of race wins and podium finishes in the years to come.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source