Alpine has announced their six drivers for the upcoming Hypercar programme in the FIA World Endurance Championship 2024.
There is no surprise about three of the names, since those drivers has been attached to Alpine on/off during the resent past.
Nicolas Lapierre, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Charles Milesi has been part of the French team for some time, and has been part of the development of the new Alpine A424, which is build by ORECA, and based on the LMDh regulations.
The three new names to the team is Ferdinand Habsburg, Paul-Loup Chatin, and Mick Schumacher.
Habsburg has been active in the LMP2 category for several teams, including Team WRT, for which he won the FIA WEC title in the 2021 season – together with Milesi btw. The Austrian driver with the imperial connection in the past, has shown good speed in a LMP2 car, and with that category going away from FIA WEC, the natural thing is to take a step up the ladder.
Photo: AlpineChatin is the defending IMSA champion in the LMP2 category, and has been running for several outfits in LMP2 for the past seasons. The French driver actually won the European Le Mans Series in 2014 with Signatech-Alpine in LMP2, before moving up to their FIA WEC programme in 2015. They split their ways following that season, with Chatin primarily racing for IDEC Sport since then, including winning the 2019 ELMS titlen. So it’s a bit of a return to home, despite it being almost 10 years since he left the team, with the added challenge of running in the top category.
Mick Schumacher is a new name in sportscar racing. The former Formula 1 driver has been without a ride, since he lost his full-time race seat at HAAS at the end of 2022. He then became reserve driver at Mercedes-AMG in Formula 1, but the contact to Alpine came quite quickly, and he was already testing the car, earlier in the year. He dad, Michael, did have a taste of sportscars too, racing as a Mercedes Junior in 1991, including the 24 hours of Le Mans.
The driver combinations haven’t been decided yet, but will be revealed as well as the livery, at an event on February 7.
The FIA WEC 2024 starts with the Prologue in Qatar on 24-25 February, with the opening round being run the followin weekend at the very same Lusail International Circuit.