Renault will rebrand its Formula 1 team as Alpine for the 2021 season, the manufacturer confirmed on Sunday, ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.
New CEO Luca de Meo has outlined Alpine, which produces the A110 sportscar, as a key part of Groupe Renault’s plans moving forward and wants to market the brand via Renault’s sporting ventures.
The team, which is set to take on a blue livery and depart from Renault’s black-and-yellow scheme, will field incumbent Esteban Ocon and two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso next year.
The Renault name will nonetheless remain in Formula 1 via the branding of the power units, manufacturered in Viry-Chatillon, which will be known as Renault E-TECH Hybrid engines.
“Alpine is a beautiful brand, powerful and vibrant, that brings a smile to the faces of its followers,” said De Meo.
“By introducing Alpine, a symbol of French excellence, to the most prestigious of the world’s automotive disciplines, we are continuing the adventure of manufacturers in a renewed sport.
“We are bringing a dream brand alongside the biggest names, for spectacular car races made and followed by enthusiasts. Alpine will also bring its values to the F1 paddock: elegance, ingenuity, and audacity.”
It will be the fifth different name for the team that has historically been based out of Enstone.
It joined Formula 1 in 1981 as Toleman before it was acquired by the Benetton clothing company in 1985.
Benetton enjoyed championship success with Michael Schumacher in the mid-1990s but after a period of decline it was purchased by Renault, which itself had run its own different team from 1977 to 1985.
It rebranded Benetton as Renault for the 2002 season and claimed world titles with Alonso in 2005/06, but sold up to Genii Capital in 2010.
From 2012 the squad was known as Lotus but at the end of 2015 Renault stepped in once more and purchased the operation.
Since that full-time return as a works team Renault has regularly been part of Formula 1’s midfield group, though it has yet to take a podium finish.
It recorded a high of fourth place in the 2018 Constructors’ Championship before slipping to fifth last year.
Renault’s transition into Alpine will mean another team undergoes a name change.
In 2019 Sauber took on Alfa Romeo’s name while for 2020 Red Bull opted to ditch the Toro Rosso moniker after 15 years and bring in its fashion label, AlphaTauri.
Racing Point – which existed as Force India until 2018 – will be known as Aston Martin from 2021.