Davide Brivio leaves Alpine F1, MotoGP return possible?

Davide Brivio has left the Alpine F1 team, fuelling speculation that a return to the MotoGP paddock could be on the cards

Davide Brivio, Alpine

The Alpine F1 team has announced that it has parted ways with Davide Brivio, which potentially opens the door for the Italian to return to MotoGP.

Brivio was a respected member of the MotoGP paddock - partly for his work with Valentino Rossi in the #46’s first stint with Yamaha, and partly for his role in taking Suzuki from not racing in 2014 to MotoGP World Champions with Joan Mir in 2020. 

Brivio had joined Alpine as Racing Director in 2021, but then moved into a role managing Alpine’s driver academy - which has included Jack Doohan, son of five-time 500cc World Champion Mick Doohan.

On his departure from Alpine, Brivio said: “It has been a proud chapter in my motorsport career to be involved in Formula 1 with Alpine. I would like to thank Alpine for the opportunity to experience Formula 1 which was my desire and also for the chance to pass on some of my experience in motorsport onto its young drivers in the Alpine Academy. 

“I wish the team and the Academy the best in the future and I’m sure we will see many young drivers go on to achieve fantastic things in their careers. To play a small part in some of that success will certainly be something I will cherish. I am grateful to Alpine for accommodating my wish to pursue other opportunities which may (and I hope that they will) arise in the future.”

Brivio’s “wish to pursue other opportunities” is anticipated to mean a return to MotoGP, where there seem to be two primary candidates to acquire his services. 

The first is Trackhouse Racing, the new team that has arrived in place of the ousted RNF team to run the satellite Aprilias the CryptoData-owned team left behind. While Trackhouse is expected to be fielding a team made up mostly of the staff that RNF was using in 2023, it might also see Brivio as a beneficial figure to help guide it towards the front of the World Championship. Aprilia, and Aprilia Racing CEO Massimo Rivola, might see the benefit in that, too.

But Brivio has won MotoGP world titles, and worked at the head of factory teams in the series, so a satellite outfit might be usurped by a factory squad. 

The Repsol Honda Team is clearly happy with its current team manager, Alberto Puig. That is made clear by the video HRC published last week about Marc Marquez’ final weekend with the Repsol Honda Team at the 2023 Valencia Grand Prix. On the Saturday, following Marquez’ Sprint podium, an event was held in the HRC paddock hospitality during which many tears were shed by Marquez, including when he choked up while saying thank you to Puig. 

But, there is no doubt that the Repsol team has been in the worst period of its history in recent years. It has not won a race since October 2021, and only Marc Marquez has finished on the podium for it since Pol Espargaro’s second place in Qatar at the start of 2022. The poor performances have not been caused by Puig but by the bike, but the reality remains that one of the team’s major sponsors, Red Bull, has followed Marquez out of the team, which means the performances are having a commercial impact, too.

That still might not be the fault of Puig, but HRC management in Japan might feel that a change is needed to help push the team back to the results it and its sponsors expect, and it might see Brivio as the right man to replace Puig.

Ultimately, at this point, Brivio could just as easily go and sit on a beach in the Pacific, but it seems that there are options open to him in the two-wheeled Grand Prix world should he choose to return to MotoGP.

Find all the latest motorcycle news on Visordown.