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Alpine have undergone a series of changes behind the scenes which has seen them change the team name, management structure, and even the driver lineup with Fernando Alonso joining up. New Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi is bullish that the two drivers will be treated equally with no preferential treatment.

Alpine have brought back wily operator Fernando Alonso to help lead them into the new era.

The Spaniard makes his return to a team where he had the most success in his career. 

Since leaving the French team in 2006 for McLaren, he has yet to emulate that success.

Fernando Alonso, not the clear number one according to Alpine CEO

In an interview (translated via Google), Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi on being asked about who the number one driver would be was very adamant that won’t be the case. 

He said, “There is no such thing as a number one and number two driver. I also don’t think that  exists in many teams, to be honest, at least not in ours.”

He felt the number one chatter seeks to remove responsibility from the other driver. He said, “The drivers have to be as fast as possible and will challenge each other clearly. It’s like a healthy competition and that’s it. There are no instructions and no number one driver.”

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – Fernando Alonso of Spain and McLaren F1 walks in the Paddock after practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

This clearly shows how the French team will seek to address the number one driver speculation. They are looking to put both Alonso and Esteban Ocon on an even keel and are looking past Alonso’s past achievements and history within the team.

What can everyone expect from the Spaniard?

Alonso will get the opportunity to make a return to F1 after two years. In that time, he has competed in the Indy Car series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This shows the level of competition he has been a part of away from F1.

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – Fernando Alonso of Spain and McLaren F1 walks in the Paddock during previews ahead of the Formula One Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

How the Spaniard adapts to the Alpine car will be an interesting watch. He clearly has the hunger and desire to fight in F1. This maybe the most important factor in how he competes in that car.


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Cubs lineup gets huge break with latest Jacob deGrom news

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Senate GOP says no to pork by keeping internal rule against earmarks, but many will not follow it

Senate Republicans decided Wednesday to keep their internal conference rule against earmarks, declining to join House Republicans in permitting members to take part in Democrats' revamped special project funding process.

But even though the conference rule remains in place, it can't stop Republicans who to want to participate in the practice of allowing members of Congress to designate direct spending for certain programs or projects in their districts while circumventing the normal appropriations process, a system that Democrats revived this year after a 10-year pause.

The decision was not unanimous.

"Earmarks are just a symbolic way of taking us back to the way things used to work, and piles on to the kind of reckless spending it looks like we're experiencing currently," Indiana Republican Sen. Mike Braun told the press pool on Wednesday.


Congress banned earmarks in 2011 following widespread bipartisan outrage over waste and abuse, such as Alaska's "bridge to nowhere” in Alaska that was meant to connect one town to an airport but was never completed.

Senate Republicans formally added the ban on earmarks to their conference rules in 2019, with a provision that stipulates it “is the policy of the Republican Conference that no Member shall request a congressionally directed spending item, limited tax benefit, or limited tariff benefit, as such items are used in Rule XLIV of the Standing Rules of the Senate.”

But this year, House Democrats this year have brought back a revamped version of the earmarks process, allowing House Republicans to accept “community project funding” requests from members with some additional measures meant to guard against abuse.

That put Republicans in a tight spot, with both the Senate Republicans and House Republicans having conference rules against their members participating in the practice. But despite heavy criticism from some conservatives, the House Republican Conference voted last month to allow Republican members to request funds for their district, with some additional rules.

Senate Republican conference rules are not biding, meaning there are no tangible consequences for a Republican member who breaks the rules. So, there may still be senators who go and request earmarks anyway.

Republican West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito told reporters last week that she plans to request earmarks.

Barring Republicans from participating in the new and improved earmark system comes with political risks. A Democrat could go back to his or her district or state and point to the specific money brought back to the area and note that the Republicans refused to ask for it. And refusing to participate in the process can deprive their states of funding for key projects that might not otherwise get federal money.

That is why some Republicans such as Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, say that a way to administer earmarks in a "meritorious and substantive" way, he told reporters last week.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham has also argued in favor of earmarks, saying that former President Donald Trump also appears to support them.

"Democrats do it. If we don't do it, we're stupid," Graham said last month.

Division over earmarks sparked an internal battle, with some Republicans coming out strongly against the

Fifteen Senate Republicans, including Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz of Texas, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Marco Rubio of Florida, signed a letter on Monday pledging to vote against repealing the conference's earmarks ban. The letter called earmarks an "inherently wasteful spending practice that is prone to serious abuse."


"When earmarks are off the table. It takes a tool away from leadership to try and twist your arm to support something you would not otherwise support," said Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Lummis told reporters.

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