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Ocon boosted by new Alpine signing David Sanchez as Gasly expects ex-Ferrari man to be ‘full of ideas’

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Alpine drivers Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly have expressed their excitement at working with the team’s latest high-profile signing, David Sanchez, who recently joined the operation in a newly-created role of Executive Technical Director.

Sanchez will oversee Alpine’s restructured technical department, with Ciaron Pilbeam (Technical Director – Performance), Joe Burnell (Technical Director – Engineering), and David Wheater (Technical Director – Aerodynamics) all reporting to him.

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It came after Sanchez’s brief, three-month stint at McLaren, having arrived from Ferrari – following a period of gardening leave – to find that “the role we envisioned and had agreed to was not aligned with the reality of the position I found”.

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Sanchez will bring experience from Ferrari and McLaren as he heads back to Enstone

The French engineer started his F1 career at Enstone in 2005 as a junior aerodynamicist, when the team was known as Renault, before moving to Ferrari and spending some 10 years at Maranello, where he led their aerodynamics department and later worked as Head of Vehicle Concept.

Amid a difficult start to the 2024 season for Alpine, which has come in the wake of several managerial changes through last year, Ocon and Gasly were both looking forward to seeing how much of an impact Sanchez can make.

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“We are reinforcing our technical team, which is obviously great news,” said Ocon. “David is a man with a lot of experience, his past experience in different teams.

“He started his career at Enstone as well, similar to me in a way, and I hope that obviously he’s going to be helping us to develop further and to help our performance.”

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 03: Esteban Ocon of France driving the (31) Alpine F1 A524 Renault on track

Alpine have one point to their name so far this season, scored by Ocon in Miami

Echoing his team mate’s sentiments, Gasly added: “He’s got huge experience and he knows already Enstone. I’m definitely excited to see what he can bring to the team.

“I’ll take any performance we can [add to the car] at the moment, so I’m sure he’s full of ideas and I’m looking forward to work with him.”

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Those comments came with Alpine heading into last weekend’s Miami Grand Prix as one of only three teams, alongside Williams and Kick Sauber, yet to score a point this season.

However, a breakthrough run to 10th position for Ocon at the Miami International Autodrome got the team off the mark and means they now sit eighth in the constructors’ standings.

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