Szafnauer concluded his tenure as the team leader after 18 months, bidding farewell to Alpine at Spa on Sunday evening. This came after his departure was announced on Friday.
Bruno Famin, Alpine’s VP of motorsport, will temporarily take over his position.
On Sunday, Szafnauer bid a heartfelt goodbye to the team members in the garage and motorhome before departing for the airport. His official departure date is Monday.
“I will personally be okay and I am doing well,” he informed Motorsport.com moments before departing from the paddock.
“I am concerned about the dedicated individuals at Enstone and Viry who work diligently and perform admirably. I wish them a promising future.”
“I was just finding my rhythm, getting familiar with everyone and learning how to inspire them. You know, when everyone is doing well, it benefits everyone, and I was just reaching the stage where I was improving the overall situation.”
There were individuals, although not myself as much, who were shedding tears and bidding farewell. I reassured them, saying, “Behold, I am still breathing, I have not perished! I will be fine.”
Pierre Gasly, Alpine A523, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23
Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
After experiencing double retirements at Silverstone and the Hungaroring, Szafnauer concluded on a positive note with a strong performance at Spa for the team.
Pierre Gasly secured a third-place finish in the sprint on Saturday. However, in Sunday’s main race, he encountered a setback as he got stuck behind Oscar Piastri’s impaired McLaren at the beginning. Gasly managed to recover and ultimately finished in 11th place.
Esteban Ocon made an impressive move during the race, advancing from 14th place on the starting grid to finish in eighth position. He crossed the finish line only one second behind Lando Norris in the McLaren car.
Szafnauer mentioned, “After a few more laps, it seemed like we were closing in on Lando towards the finish line. Our performance was impressive, demonstrating a solid pace. We showcased this yesterday as well, with Pierre securing a third-place finish.”
Unfortunately, Pierre’s race was negatively impacted at the start when he got stuck behind Piastri, causing him to fall significantly behind.
“I intend to say, throughout the race, he consistently held the 18th position. Therefore, it was commendable for him to make a comeback and reach the 11th position, coming very close to achieving it.”
In Spa, we achieved a podium finish and earned valuable points while competing against McLaren. Just two races ago, everyone was convinced that McLaren would win the world championship, but now we find ourselves battling them on the track.