The Renault Formula One team will be renamed Alpine F1 from 2021, competing in French colors to showcase the carmaker’s sportscar brand, new company CEO Luca de Meo announced on Sunday.
Alpine has a strong motorsport pedigree, in rallying and endurance racing, but has not previously featured in Formula One as a constructor. The Renault name will remain on the car as the engine provider.
“Starting from next year we will be racing with the Alpine brand,” De Meo told reporters ahead of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
“The car will be representing the historical colors of French motoring with the blue and Tricolore.”
Loss-making Renault last week announced a new organizational structure focused on four divisions rather than geographical regions, with Renault F1 team principal Cyril Abiteboul overseeing Alpine.
The Renault group revived the Alpine brand and its two-seater models in 2017, updating a classic design which hit a peak in the 1960s and 70s.
Pricier models like the Alpine could help improve the group’s longer term profitability, with De Meo saying last week that Renault’s ‘center of gravity’ had to be more upmarket.
“We will use Formula One as a platform to market a brand that we want to develop,” he said on Sunday.
“Even if Renault is a glorious brand, the fit within the Formula One world of Alpine can be even better,” added De Meo. “I believe that Formula One should be a championship of constructors with brands that make people dream.”
The carmaker has committed to Formula One until at least 2025 after signing a new commercial agreement.
Formula One is also introducing a $145 million budget cap next year.
The 2021 Alpine team will feature Spain’s Fernando Alonso, returning to a team where he was a double world champion more than a decade ago, and Frenchman Esteban Ocon.
“This change comes at a key moment in the trajectory of the team and the sport,” Abiteboul said in a statement.
“The implementation of the budget cap will put an end to the expense race and will allow the signatory teams to be measured for their sporting value. Alpine has its place in Formula One and can challenge for victory.”