Otmar Szafnauer to leave team principal role at Alpine after Belgian Grand Prix
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Otmar Szafnauer will stand down from his role as Alpine team principal after this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps. Alpine announced that Szafnauer will leave the team following a “mutual agreement”.
Alpine said that the team principal “will continue his duties as normal for this weekend’s race in Belgium, before leaving the team ahead of the summer break. The team would like to thank Otmar for his hard work over the past 18 months and for leading the team in achieving fourth place in the 2022 constructors’ championship. The team wishes him the best for the future.”
In the interim, Szafnauer will be replaced by Bruno Famin, who joined the team earlier this month for a newly created role of VP of Alpine Motorsport. Famin was previously the head of the Renault operation in Viry-Chatillon after previously working for Peugeot and the FIA.
Alpine’s sporting director Alan Permane, has been with the Enstone organisation in a variety of roles for 34 years. He will be leaving the team following the summer break, being replaced in interim by Alpine Academy director Julian Rouse.
The new changes follow the recent management shake-up across the team, initiated by overall Renault boss Luca de Meo, which saw CEO Laurent Rossi moved into special projects.
Szafnauer joined Alpine in February last February having left the team principal role at Aston Martin, just a few weeks before. The team principal had been with the Silverstone based team since 2009, through both its time as Force India and Racing Point, before the team was taken over by Lawrence Stroll, the father of driver Lance Stroll.
Despite the announcement coming on Friday afternoon, Szafnauer represented Alpine at the F1 Commission meeting earlier in the day. Only last week, the American said that he had faith in De Meo, confirming that the Renault boss had given him 100 races to make the team a winner.
Szafnauer told Motorsport.com about the impact of Rossi’s move, saying “You’ve got to remember that Laurent is doing special projects now.
“Yes, he did hire me, but Luca also hired me, and it was Luca de Meo who ultimately sat down with me and convinced me to join his project.
“And the project was the Alpine project with the 100-race plan, and I think we are 30-something races into that. So we still have some 60-odd races to go, and that is another three years to go to start winning.
“It takes time. It has taken everybody time. I know Luca is a man of his word, and he gave me his word on 100 races to start winning, and sometimes you take a half-step backwards to take two steps forward.
“So I have no concern that Luca will be true to his word and give me the 100-races time that is required.”