Home Formula 4F1 Academy Alpine expands Academy by promoting affiliates, adding Mini and Neate

Alpine expands Academy by promoting affiliates, adding Mini and Neate

by Ida Wood

Photo: Alpine

Alpine has revealed its line-up of Academy drivers for 2023, with a major change being all of its affiliates have now become fully-fledged members.

Last year it introduced the affiliate programme to support drivers who were racing below Formula 3, but now it has returned to its former format of having its Academy populated by drivers at all levels of motorsport.

Formula 2 racers Jack Doohan and Victor Martins will continue with the team, while in F3 it has dropped long-time member Caio Collet from the academy but has said he will retain “a connection to the Alpine Racing family”.

Also competing in FIA F3 this year is Nikola Tsolov, who has been promoted from affiliate to full member status and is managed by Aston Martin-bound former Alpine driver Fernando Alonso, and surprise new signing Gabriele Mini. The Italian protege of Nicolas Todt has turned down interest from Formula 1 teams multiple times before.

Formula Regional European Championship runner-up Hadrien David has been dropped, and he is still looking for the funding to continue his single-seater career, while Aiden Neate has joined the academy as he moves into FRegional after two years in Formula 4.

Stepping back down from FRegional to F4, but now as a fully-fledged Academy member having previously been an affiliate, is W Series frontrunner Abbi Pulling.

She has simultaneously been announced as joining Rodin Carlin in the new all-female F1 Academy series.

“It is great to be competing in the first season of the F1 Academy, especially to be working with such a successful team as Rodin Carlin,” said Pulling.

“Having spent time with the team before, I can’t wait to get the season started, working alongside some incredible people. I have lots of trust in them and know they will push me to be the best I can be.

“I’m very thankful for the continued support of the Alpine Academy for a second season and the great work of Gazing Performance and Alice Powell behind the scenes.”

Carlin’s F1 Academy team principal Stephanie Carlin added, “We’re delighted to welcome Abbi to the team for this first season of F1 Academy. Our paths have crossed in the past before and Abbi is a driver we’ve wanted to work with for some time now. We’re really excited that we are able to work on this programme together and have no doubt that Abbi will be a huge asset to the team.”

After testing with several teams last year, karter Matheus Ferreira will be starting his car racing career in Italian F4 in 2023 and also as an Alpine junior after being an affiliate in 2022. He has been signed to race for Van Amersfoort Racing in F4.

The final affiliate to be promoted to full junior status is Kean Nakamura Berta, who will remain in karting for 2023. He is down as racing for Prema – a team best known for its single-seater achievements – in the WSK Super Master Series this weekend.