During the team’s official Launch Event in London for the presentation of its 2023 Formula 1 challenger, the A523, Alpine announced new developments for its Rac(H)er programme confirming its ambition to promote equal opportunities for men and women to enhance its performance.
Creation of the Human High-Performance Centre (HHPC) to put performance at the core of Alpine programme
While conducting an essential cultural shift in its organisation, Alpine also announced new developments to continue fighting against bias and prejudices against women in motorsports and the industry. In 72 years of Formula One racing, only six out of 885 drivers have been female, an under-representation of women, which is also accurate within the automotive industry. For Alpine, bringing diversity to its workforce while maintaining a meritocracy is an important pillar in improving its overall performance.
To achieve this goal, Alpine announces the creation of the Human High-Performance Centre in Enstone (UK) to place performance and drivers at the heart of its training programme. Alpine teams have designed a scientific protocol and a unique research programme to measure the physical, physiological, and cognitive data of its drivers and teams. With use of specialised knowledge of very specific data, the Human High-Performance Centre will house the progress of Alpine athletes, whatever their gender. This data will both improve Alpine’s understanding of its athlete’s performance and contribute to the creation of tailor-made training programmes built up by Alpine Academy Director Julian Rouse and his team, overseen by BWT Alpine F1 Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer.
The programme will be coupled with significant investment in the Alpine Academy.
Inspiring Alpine teams to strive for excellence with Nicola Adams as role model and coach
Nicola Adams, two-time Olympic champion and gender equality activist, commits long-term with Alpine as its new role model and coach of the brand. Throughout the year, Nicola Adams will coach both the Academy drivers and the Alpine F1 teams based in Enstone. She will also give conferences to inspire, motivate and raise awareness of diversity as a key driver of performance.
A new generation of female drivers on track to become the champions of tomorrow
Rac(H)er was also reinforced with the promotion of its new talents as Sophia Floersch joins the Alpine Academy and will race in the FIA Formula 3 Championship in 2023 on the Formula 1 Grand Prix support race undercard. The talented 22-year-old German driver perfectly embodies the direction of the team and has demonstrated a strong will for success during her career. She will benefit from a tailor-made racing and development programme and will compete in the highly competitive Formula 3 Championship. Her arrival in the Alpine Academy is part of Alpine's ambition to expand its opportunities to young talents, especially in upping its game for the World Endurance Championship and Le Mans 2024.
Abbi Pulling also reaches a new milestone in her career, stepping up from being an Alpine Affiliate Driver to the Alpine Academy as she sets her sights on the new 2023 Formula 1 Academy Series fresh off the back of impressing in W Series in 2022. In the Alpine Academy, Abbi will benefit from the same training programme as all the drivers of the programme.
As part of the Rac(H)er programme, six female talents officially join the Alpine’s young driver karting programme: Aiva Anagnostiadis (15, from Australia), Angélina Proenca (13, from France), Chiara Battig (12, from Switzerland), Lisa Billard (13, from France), Maria Chiara Nardelli (12, from Italy) and Kaur Kera Sukhmani (10, from the United Kingdom). The six drivers will benefit from a tailor-made, purpose built sports programme to grow them into the champions of tomorrow.
These announcements embody Alpine’s will to accelerate the development of female racing talents within the team.
Zara Rutherford, an inspirational role model for the younger generation
As the youngest female pilot to complete a solo round-the-world flight in an aircraft, Zara Rutherford perfectly matches the Alpine spirit and the will to represent and inspire the younger generation. She will share her experience alongside Alpine to inspire young talents.
Programmes to promote cultural change within Alpine and empower female talent
With the Rac(H)er programme, Alpine is committed to promoting the inclusion and subsequent promotions of a diverse workforce at all levels with an aim of 30% females within five years (vs. 12% in 2022). As announced in June 2022, several initiatives have been launched internally to reach this goal. Alpine will be the first Formula 1 Team to collaborate in its Enstone facility with Springboard. The brand will benefit from its extensive 34-year history of creating leading personal development programmes to nurture women leadership.
This pilot programme will be combined with other innovative initiatives. Alpine has launched and implemented at its Enstone factory a specific workshop “Allyship Training” for empowerment and created a Women in Engineering Group pioneered by the Stress team to raise awareness of Women in Engineering at Alpine.
Laurent Rossi, Alpine CEO: “Rac(H)er is key in our continuous quest for performance, to build the future of our industry by driving real change and creating equal and fair opportunities across a range of human talents. Sophia and Abbi, for example, are a fine example of such talents. I am delighted that Sophia is joining our programme and it’s an honour to promote Abbi to the Academy. Both drivers, I am sure, will bring a lot to Alpine.”
Claire Mesnier, Alpine Human Resources VP: “With Rac(H)er, we have been working relentlessly over the past six months, with the support of Renault Group, not only to encourage reflection, but also to put in place concrete actions to move forwards. Now that we have shifted our organisation’s culture, we accelerate forwards with the creation of the Human High-Performance Centre as well as by the deployment of numerous internal initiatives to empower women and encourage new generations to join the motorsport industry, whether engineers, mechanics, or drivers.”
Sophia Floersch, Alpine Academy Driver: “Joining the Alpine Academy is an honour and a major opportunity in my career. I have great ambitions and I am sure by applying the knowledge and expertise from Alpine, it will only help me grow. I can't wait to start this new chapter and represent the Alpine brand on the global stage.”
Nicola Adams, two-time Olympic champion and Alpine mentor: “As a top athlete, my mentors have played an instrumental role in my career. I can’t wait to pass on my experiences, to coach the drivers and teams, to share and give advice to them as well as to make my contribution to Alpine and help alleviate gender inequalities in sport.”