Team principal Otmar Szafnauer will leave Alpine after Belgian GP

Alpine announced a series of management changes at the 2023 Belgian GP

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Alpine have sensationally revealed that they will part company with team principal Otmar Szafnauer following the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

Szafanuer, who joined Alpine in 2022 after over ten years at Force India, Racing Point and Aston Martin, will depart less than a year on from leading the team to fourth in the constructors’ championship. Sporting director Alan Permane is also leaving the team.

“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,” Alpine said in statement. 

“The team wishes him the best for the future.  The team can also confirm it will part ways with Sporting Director Alan Permane by mutual agreement. 

“After 34 distinguished years at Enstone, the team extends its thanks to Alan and wishes him the best in his future endeavours.”

All change at Alpine

Alpine also announced the departure of Pat Fry, who joins Williams as their chief technical officer, whilst the team’s sporting director Alan Permane leaves Enstone after 34 years.

Vice president of Alpine Motorsports Bruno Famin will become interim team principal from August’s Dutch GP onwards, whilst Julian Rouse takes over from Permane as interim sporting director.

Pierre Gasly in action at the 2023 Miami GP | Alpine

The departure of Szafnauer and Permane comes a week after the announcement that Philippe Krief would replace Alpine’s CEO Laurent Rossi.

Rossi would now be in charge of special projects inside the company, although at the time of writing, it is yet to be announced what department the Corsican will lead.

A continuous problem at Alpine

Since entering F1 in 2021, Alpine has struggled to retain a stable management team, with the team parting company with team director Marcin Budkowski and special advisor Alain Prost before the 2022 season.

In the summer of 2022, Alpine suffered the ingenuity of losing Fernando Alonso to Aston Martin and Oscar Piastri to McLaren in the space of 96 hours.

Despite Ocon grabbing a famous podium in Monaco, Alpine have drifted away from the top four in the constructors’ championship, with neither driver scoring points in the British and Hungarian GPs.

Alpine currently lie sixth in the constructors’ championship, 40 points adrift of fifth-place McLaren.

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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