Szafnauer Reveals Details About His Departure From Alpine

F1
by Adam OndrikSaturday, 03 February 2024 at 06:00
szafnauer otmar alpine
Alpine's former team principal, Otmar Szafnauer, revealed the reasons behind his separation from the team in the middle of the 2023 season.
Otmar Szafnauer joined Alpine in early 2022 with the goal of bringing back the old days of the team's success from 2005 and 2006 by lifting it from the midfield, where they have been stuck for quite a few years.
However, the relatively new team principal, along with a few other key team members departed halfway through the 2023 season.
Since then, we haven't had enough time to see whether Alpine could make progress, but Szafanuer believes he was doing a better job than current the team's leaders. He told MotorSport Magazine:

"This may sound egotistical but I believe I was doing a good job at Alpine and that I was making the right changes."

Szafanuer also lately disclosed the team was operating "double-digit millions" below the budget cap when he arrived. He continued:

"I have seen new team leaders make changes for the sake of change, they want to show the owners that they are doing something, making changes for the better."

Some experts say that Renault was reluctant to invest in their F1 project but still wanted immediate results, and creating a Championship-winning team under such conditions is almost impossible.

"Alpine’s senior bosses wanted success faster than was possible. I told them what was possible, and they said they didn’t have time for that."

"When I got there, I told them they needed this stuff and some new people. When you start recruiting, you are lucky to get anyone within a year because of their multi-year contracts."

Results take time; unfortunately, the former team principal wasn't afforded the time he requested. He also revealed he was warned about his departure less than ten days ahead.

"I told Alpine I was making progress but their response was always ‘we don’t have time for this.’ That was the cause of our disagreement and I was given less than 10 days warning of their decision that led to my departure at the Belgian GP."