Alain Prost slams ‘incompetent, arrogant’ Alpine, Szafnauer and Rossi in stunning attack

Alpine axe Laurent Rossi and Otmar Szafnaeur in successive weeks ahead of the F1 summer break


Alain Prost has launched a scathing attack on Alpine and their departing senior figures after Otmar Szafnauer and Laurent Rossi were sacked as team principal and CEO in successive weeks.

Prost took his first Formula 1 win with Renault in 1982 and was an advisor at Enstone for eight seasons until 2022.

Alpine have once again been just behind regular podium contenders in F1 in 2023 and have swung the axe attempting to turn that form around before the next regulation change in 2026.

“I love this team and to see it in this state today saddens and distresses me,” Prost wrote in L’Equipe. “It deserves better and has everything it needs to get there.

Laurent Rossi is the most beautiful example of the Dunning-Kruger effect, that of an incapable leader who thinks he can overcome his incompetence by his arrogance and lack of humanity towards his troops.

“The one who was Alpine’s boss for 18 months thought he understood everything from the start when he was totally mistaken. His management broke the momentum that had been put in place since 2016 to reach these podiums and this victory.

“It is to be hoped that the decision taken on Friday to change other heads will be a salutary electroshock for the stable.”

Otmar Szafnauer at 2023 Bahrain GP | Alpine F1 Team

Results have been up-and-down at Enstone for decades – the team that fired Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso to world championships also suffered long winless streaks from 1998-2002 and 2014-2020.

But the success as Benetton, Renault and Lotus has deserted the team since the French manufacturer took back charge of the team in 2016 and they’ve been regular midfield contenders, but no more.

“I simply believe that you have to look at history to understand what went wrong,” Prost added. “If you look at the great successes of the last thirty years, you will find a simple structure, detached from an industrial organisation chart, built around three or four strong personalities, coupled with a champion driver.”

When is the next F1 2023 race?

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after crossing the line to win the Dutch Grand Prix REUTERS/Yves Herman

F1 will return from its summer break with the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix from Zandvoort on August 25-27, where championship leader Max Verstappen will be racing on home soil.

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for and in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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