Szafnauer parted company with Alpine after the recent Belgian Grand Prix following a disagreement between himself and the sportscar manufacturer’s bosses over the timeline needed for it to win in F1.
Szafnauer expressed his belief, based on his extensive F1 experience, that Alpine would not reach its target until 2026. However, the senior management of the company strongly disagreed and insisted that it could be achieved much earlier.
Due to a significant difference in their long-term goals for the team, it was mutually decided that they should part ways immediately.
Szafnauer’s departure, just over a year since he arrived at the squad, caused shock within the paddock, especially when Alpine also announced that the team’s highly-rated sporting director Alan Permane was also leaving.
Perez, who collaborated with Szafnauer at the Racing Point team, believes that leaving early was not the best decision considering the extensive time required to achieve success in F1.
Perez expressed his surprise at Szafnauer’s departure, noting the unexpectedly short notice.
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal, Alpine F1 Team
Photo by: Alexander Trienitz / Motorsport Images
“I believe Otmar is exceptional, and for anyone in that role, they deserve sufficient time to prove themselves. I think Otmar didn’t have enough time to fully demonstrate his immense potential, which I have witnessed in other teams where he achieved remarkable results despite limited resources.”
I believe it is unfortunate that they allowed him to leave, but on the contrary, whoever replaces him should be given sufficient time because the various aspects of Formula 1 require a significant amount of time.
However, despite the sympathy shown towards Szafnauer after his departure from Alpine, not everyone has expressed support for his actions within the team.
Fernando Alonso recently implied that Szafnauer shouldn’t take too much credit for his management of Alpine. Alonso himself left the team for Aston Martin because they were slow in finalizing a contract for him for this year and beyond.
Alonso expressed his dissatisfaction with Alpine’s handling of the contract negotiations in an interview with the BBC. He stated that the process was moving at a sluggish pace, but clarified that the delay was not due to any actions on his part. Alonso emphasized his readiness and eagerness to proceed. Additionally, he expressed contentment with the speed and capabilities of the 2022 car, indicating his satisfaction with its performance and potential for the future.
The conversations were moving at a sluggish speed, and eventually we stopped documenting our thoughts on paper. Despite ongoing comments about age and other topics, they continue to persist.
The manner in which they carry out tasks is noteworthy. Specifically, the manner in which Otmar carries out tasks. Despite the outcomes of Aston Martin and his accomplishments, he continues to speak and remains proud of his decision, which is truly remarkable.