A deep dive into F1 for the winners of the Excellence Mécanique Alpine competition


The Excellence Mécanique Alpine competition finals were held this weekend at the French team’s site in Viry-Chatillon in the presence of Laurent Rossi, Alpine CEO, and Esteban Ocon, BWT Alpine F1 Team driver Esteban Ocon.

  • Seventeen-year-old Achille Thurotte and eighteen-year-old Robin Chaillard won the competition and a three-month internship with the team.
  • The finalists passed the third round in six workshops designed by the team’s engine builders using their tools and Formula 1 engine components in the BWT Alpine F1 Team’s Mechanical Assembly Shop.
  • This national competition was conceived and developed in partnership with the Ministries of Labour, Employment and Integration and the Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sports, aiming to promote mechanical engineering as a path of excellence accessible to everyone.

The Mechanical Assembly Workshop, where the team’s Formula 1 engines are assembled, hosted the nine pairs for the six tests of the finals of the Excellence Mécanique Alpine competition. The candidates encountered machinery they did not use during their apprenticeship, among others, a test on the synchronisation of throttle valves and a test on the assembly of a variable turbocharger pre-rotation device. This unique experience allowed the finalists to learn about the components, technologies and tools of our F1 engine builders. In addition to savoir-faire, equal attention was paid to interpersonal skills, for example, an evaluation of social skills, stress management and availability to their partners.

The finals were created as a deep dive into Formula One. The participants visited the Viry-Chatillon site, discovered the team’s working environment and met the engine experts working on this season’s A522 Formula 1 car.

The surprise meeting with Esteban Ocon, and the discussions that followed, made an impression on all those present.

The winning duo, 17-year-old Achille Thurotte and 18-year-old Robin Chaillard win a three-month internship that will allow them to work on the engine for the 2022 Formula 1 season in the BWT Alpine F1 Team’s mechanical assembly workshop in Viry-Châtillon. This programme allowed the pair to develop their skills, learn about the importance of interpersonal skills and demonstrate their motivation. This internship could eventually lead to an apprenticeship contract.

Achille is in his final year of his Professional A-Level sudies at the Lycée Professionnel Joliot Curie in Sète and Robin Chaillard, 18 years old, is in his first year of his BTS MV programme at the Lycée Ettore Buggatti in Illzach in the Haut-Rhin.

A Competition with high Standards

Co-created and run in conjunction with the Ministries of Labour and Education, OPCO Mobilités, ANFA and the Renault Group, the Excellence Mécanique Alpine competition is an inclusive competition to promote merit and teamwork. Open to students enrolled in the Automobile Maintenance and Automobile After-Sales sections, the competition has enabled the young participants to showcase their engineering savoir-faire and skills.

The competition aims, as well, to promote the automotive engineering field as a sector of excellence to attract the combustion and electrical mechanics of tomorrow.

The continuation of the Excellence Mécanique Alpine competition is already guaranted as we will ask for feedback on this first edition from all the interested parties to define the development perspectives of the concept and the associated practical modalities.

Founded in 1955 by Jean Rédélé, Alpine has asserted itself over the years with its French-style sports cars. In 2018, the brand presented the new A110, a sports car that is true to Alpine’s timeless principles of compactness, lightness, agility and driving pleasure. In 2021, the Alpine Business Unit was created, to become the dedicated brand for the innovative, authentic and exclusive sports cars of the Renault Group, benefiting from the heritage and know-how of its historic Dieppe factory and the engineering expertise of the Alpine Racing and Alpine Cars teams.