Motor Sports

F1 veteran Bell leaves Alpine and joins Aston Martin

SILVERSTONE, United Kingdom: Former Renault technical director Bob Bell has left the Alpine Formula One team, where he had an advisory role, and joined rivals Aston Martin as technical executive director.

The move reunites the 65-year-old with Spaniard Fernando Alonso, who won two world championships with Renault in 2005 and 2006 and joined Aston Martin from Renault-owned Alpine last season.

Bell had most recently been working part time on non-F1 projects at Alpine, who are last in the standings after a slow start to the season.

He will report to team boss Mike Krack at Aston Martin in a new senior leadership role with overall responsibility for technical, engineering and performance functions.

"This is a key appointment to ensure we are optimising everything we do as a team and focusing on the right performance areas," Krack said in a statement.

Bell, who has also worked for McLaren and Mercedes, is the latest in a list of experienced staff to leave Enstone-based Alpine.

In the space of two weeks last summer, an entire top tier left Alpine – Chief Executive Laurent Rossi, principal Otmar Szafnauer, Sporting Director Alan Permane and Chief Technical Officer Pat Fry.

Former racing director Davide Brivio departed at the end of December and returned to MotoGP while technical director Matt Harman and aerodynamics head Dirk de Beer went this month.

Alpine said Bell had made the decision to leave a few weeks ago and wished him well: "He will always remain a friend of the team especially after his long and rich history with Enstone," a spokesperson said.

Alpine started the season in Bahrain with both cars on the back row of the grid and Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly finished 17th and 18th in the race.

The team fell from fourth in 2022 to sixth overall last season. --REUTERS

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