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F1 News: Alpine set deadline for F1 Championship contention – Sports Illustrated

Alpine does not expect to fight for the title in some time.
Alpine has outlined when it expects to fight for the F1 World Championship, with Renault CEO Luca de Meo explaining the team's targets.
Renault decided to rebrand its F1 team to Alpine ahead of the 2021 season, intending to inject life into this branch of the company. 
Alpine had very little brand recognition before its involvement in Formula 1, but the last two seasons have seen significant growth and increased sales for the brand. 
While Alpine is winning commercially, the real question is to what extent the French squad can compete at the front of the sport. 
As a manufacturer team, the Enstone-based outfit has more resources at its disposal than most teams – with the luxury of producing its own engines. 
Whilst engine production is no easy feat in Formula 1; Alpine is in complete control of its destiny and success in the sport. 
In a press release earlier today, the Renault Group stated, "Alpine is open to capitalise on the financial valuation of its F1 Team assets".
This suggests that Renault has opened the door for investment, which is a surprise given Alpine's reasonable start to these new regulations. 
The French squad seems in a good position to progress up the field next year, but this statement from Renault brings into question the confidence in Alpine's ability to fight at the front. 
Speaking earlier today, as quoted by Marca, Renault CEO Luca de Meo explained Alpine's targets:
"Two years ago, when Alpine was born, the Formula 1 team was not considered an asset in the company, but instead an expense.
"In these two years, we have changed things, not only in the company overall, which is now a top-tier car manufacturer but also in the racing program, which is really ambitious. 
"We hope to be a candidate for the title in 2026.
"Our presence in Formula 1 has allowed us to boost the recognition of the brand worldwide."
There is nothing inherently wrong in setting conservative expectations, but these quotes certainly don't inspire confidence in Alpine's potential. 
2026 will be the start of a new set of regulations in F1, so it seems unrealistic that Alpine can predict its competitiveness several years into the future. 
Perhaps more relevant is the implication that Alpine does not expect to fight for titles in the remainder of these regulations, despite being at the top of the midfield. 

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