Since July began, Alpine has replaced their CEO Laurent Rossi, who has been reassigned to focus on “special projects”.
On the Friday of the Spa weekend, it was revealed that team principal Otmar Szafnauer, who has been in charge for 18 months, and sporting director Alan Permane, a long-standing Enstone veteran of 34 years, will depart after the race.
Meanwhile, chief technical director Pat Fry has moved to James Vowles’ Williams project.
Szafnauer and Permane’s apparent reason for leaving is their commitment to Alpine’s established strategy of achieving success over 100 races, rather than making unrealistic promises of a faster timeline.
During the chaos, Gasly fought his way from sixth place to third in the rain-affected and shortened Saturday sprint. It is worth mentioning that he successfully defended his position against Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes W14.
Gasly believed that the outcome could potentially serve as a pivotal moment for Alpine. He expressed, “The team has experienced a rather hectic few weeks.”
“I recently became a member at the beginning of the year, and it can be quite a significant transition when you enter a new team and have to collaborate with unfamiliar individuals.”
I must admit, from Laurent to Otmar to Alan, and even Pat whom I encountered at the factory, they all work exceptionally well.
Pierre Gasly, Alpine A523, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23
Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
“I find it rather unfortunate that this current season is not unfolding as anticipated, and we are not achieving the desired progress.”
Given the numerous ongoing modifications, it’s currently quite overwhelming. I can only express gratitude towards all these individuals and extend my best wishes for their future endeavors.
Alpine experiences a second double retirement of the season, as Gasly and Esteban Ocon collide in the first corner of the Hungarian GP, resulting in the top-three position being lost.
Gasly emphasized that the primary benefit was the boost to team morale: “The impact it has on our internal dynamics is what matters most to me, even more than achieving a podium.”
“It is a race that requires speed and agility. It certainly has an appealing aspect and rewards with a small trophy, but it does not involve physically stepping onto a podium. Therefore, the experience is slightly different. Nevertheless, we appreciate and accept it. I am genuinely delighted for the team members and the positive atmosphere within the garage.”
Gasly mentioned that the significance of his accomplishment was heightened by the fact that it occurred at Spa, where his friend Anthoine Hubert tragically lost his life in a FIA F2 crash.
He expressed that the season has been challenging and filled with unfortunate events. The turning points in Spa hold significance for him due to the historical context and past incidents. Consequently, he is extremely pleased to achieve success in this particular location.