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Alpine’s organisational overhaul: Technical Director Matt Harman is replaced by ‘three-pillared’ approach

Written by Sophie Harvey, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Amid a busy doubleheader, BWT Alpine F1 Team have announced a significant overhaul to the organisational structure of their technical departments. Most notably, it sees the departure of Technical Director, Matt Harman and Head of Aerodynamics, Dirk De Beer, in favour of a new ‘three-pillared’ approach.

A lacklustre season opener saw Alpine racers Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly finish this year’s season opener in 17th and 18th respectively — far from where they would have hoped to be. Less than two days later, Alpine have opted for a complete overhaul of their technical operations, in an attempt to salvage the desperately struggling outfit.

In place of former Technical Director, Matt Harman, Alpine have introduced three specialised roles of management. Joe Burnell will act as Technical Director (Engineering), David Wheater takes on the role of Technical Director (Aerodynamics) whilst Ciaron Pilbeam rounds off the trio as Technical Director (Performance).

Reporting to Team Principal, Bruno Famin, the three will work collaboratively alongside the Viry-based PU-orientated technical team, led by Eric Meignan, who retains the role of Technical Director (Power Unit).

In response to these structural changes, Famin commented: “We have decided to make these organisational changes as we can clearly see that we are not where we want nor need to be in terms of performance level and it is time to take another step in terms of organisation and people.”

“The new three-pillared structure with three Technical Directors, each specialising in different areas, will bring better work and collaboration across our technical areas and contribute to delivering performance from the factories to the race track. I trust fully in the abilities of Joe, David and Ciaron to work closely together in bringing the team the performance and improvements that it needs.”

In the team’s official statement, Alpine stated that both Harman and Head of Aerodynamics, Dirk De Beer, had ‘chosen to leave the team to seek new challenges’. With each of them cumulating decades of experience within their respective specialisms, their departure will no doubt be a huge loss to the French outfit.

Famin went on to praise both individuals, concluding his statement by saying: “I would like to thank Matt and Dirk for their efforts over the last couple of years at the team and wish them the very best in the next chapter of their careers.”

These decisions come after a series of disappointment — dropping from fourth to sixth in the constructors championship last year, accompanied by a lack of leadership and team direction. It is unsurprising that Alpine has resorted to drastic measures to settle its unrest, but will it be enough to stop what seems to be a downward spiral?


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