Monday, June 24, 2024

Otmar Szafnauer Critical of Alpine Management Following Sudden Ousting as Team Principal

Otmar Szafnauer has criticised the management team of the BWT Alpine F1 Team following their decision to sack him from his role of Team Principal after the Belgian Grand Prix.

Szafnauer, alongside Sporting Director Alan Permane, were told that they were surplus to requirement by Alpine ahead of the race weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, with both working their last Grand Prix before their departure.

The American, who joined Alpine at the start of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season after departing the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team, felt he was making good steps and bringing in good people to help improve the position of the Enstone-based team, but he has not been given the time to put it all together.

“The reality is that changes take time,” Szafnauer said to Sky Deutschland.  “I signed some good people from other teams, but they are still stuck in their contracts and won’t come until 2024 or 2025.

“You can’t really push development if people aren’t there. It takes time for people to come and it takes time for people to work together correctly.

“I always say, you can’t get nine women pregnant and hope you have a baby in a month.”

Szafnauer admits that he is worried for the futures of other members of the Alpine team both at Enstone and their French base at Viry-Châtillon, with the American hopeful that the future of those still working on the development of the A523 and it’s 2024 successor is bright.

He says he was just getting into his stride at Alpine and was getting a good understanding into how to motivate individuals, and he believed he would have succeeded in bringing Alpine back to the front of the pack if given the time.

“For me personally, I’ll be alright and I’m fine,” said Szafnauer to Motorsport.com.  “It’s just my worry is for the all the wonderful men and women at Enstone and Viry that work hard and do a good job. I hope their future is bright.

“I was just getting into my stride, starting to know everybody, how to motivate them. You know, a high tide lifts all boats, and I was just getting to the point where I was raising the tide.

“There were people, not me so much, but people crying and saying goodbye. I told them, ‘Look, I’m still alive, I didn’t die! I’ll be alright.’”

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