Shocking news came from the Alpine F1 team, Otmar Szafnauer and Alpine agreed to part ways by "mutual agreement". Alpine announced that Otmar's position as team principal would be replaced by Bruno Famin starting at the Dutch GP.
Otmar has just joined the Alpine team starting in early 2022 but in the middle of the 2023 season, Otmar has to leave the team from France. An age that is not long for a position as a principal team.
BWT Alpine F1 Team announces today it will part ways with Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer by mutual agreement following the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix. - BWT Alpine F1 Team
Before the Belgian GP started, Alpine announced through a team announcement that they will part ways with Otmar Szafnauer. Alpine F1 Team announced that Otmar Szafnauer will cease to be Team Principal Alpine after the Belgian GP.
Otmar will continue to work normally as the team principal at the Belgian GP but after that will be temporarily replaced by Alpine Motorsports Vice President, Bruno Famin. Bruno will be Alpine's interim team principal until they find a replacement for Otmar Szafnauer.
Otmar Szafnauer Promised 100 races by Alpine
Previously there were indeed rumors about Otmar's dismissal as Alpine's principal team, but Otmar immediately denied this. Otmar confessed that he was promised at least 100 races to get the Alpine team to become a top team and start winning races.
From this information, it is clear that Otmar wants to stay in Alpine as the Team Principal but Alpine seems to have other plans. So it is very clear that the Alpine side who wants to end the cooperation between them and the "sacked" words, to put it mildly, deserves this condition.
The news of Otmar's dismissal began to be widely discussed after Laurent Rossi, the person who hired Otmar at Alpine, parted ways with Alpine. When asked by the media, Otmar is very sure that this will not affect his future at Alpine because apart from Rossi, there is Luca de Meo who is still working at Alpine.
Otmar was very sure that he would not be replaced because Luca de Meo, who convinced him to join Alpine, was still working for Alpine and the 100 race project concept was also Luca de Meo, who presented it to Otmar.
But finally, the 35th race (Belgian GP) will be Otmar's last race as Alpine's team principal. So from that it seems that the team statement is just a formality because it is very clear that Otmar does not want to give up his position at Alpine but the fact is that now they are not continuing their cooperation.
“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.” - Otmar Szafnauer
It's not just Otmar who's been replaced
As well as Otmar, Alpine's Sporting Director, Alan Permane will also part ways with Alpine after working with them for 34 years. Alpine appointed Julian Rouse, Alpine Academy Director, as Alan's replacement in the position of Sporting Director.
Apart from that, there is also Pat (Patrick) Fry who will part ways with this French team, Fry is rumored to be continuing his career at another team in F1.
Otmar 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.
The team can also confirm it will part ways with Sporting Director Alan Permane by mutual agreement. Alan will also continue his role this weekend in Belgium before departing ahead of the summer break. After 34 distinguished years at Enstone, the team extends its thanks to Alan and wishes him the best in his future endeavours.
The team also announces that Pat Fry will leave the team to continue his career in Formula 1 elsewhere.
Bruno Famin, VP, Alpine Motorsports, will assume the role of Interim Team Principal of BWT Alpine F1 Team from the Dutch Grand Prix onwards. Current Alpine Academy Director Julian Rouse is named Interim Sporting Director, with Matt Harman leading the technical team at Enstone. Both Julian and Matt will report to Bruno Famin. -BWT Alpine F1 Team
Alpine major restructuring after losing Oscar Piastry
After losing Oscar Piastri, Alpine looked completely bewildered. Oscar is a young talent prepared by Alpine as Alonso's replacement for 2023, but Fernando Alonso's sudden departure to Aston Martin in 2022 means Alpine must immediately announce a replacement.
Unfortunately, Oscar has signed with McLaren for 2022 and Alpine is forced to sign another driver. This chaos would not have happened if Alpine extended the contract first with Oscar Piastri before the contract expired and was finally overtaken by McLaren.
This also gave a bad image to Otmar, who at that time had become Alpine's principal team. Otmar is considered to have made a fatal mistake by underestimating the Piastri contract extension so that the young talent is now racing for the opposing team.
After the chaos occurred, Alpine began a major restructuring by replacing several important positions in the team until finally Otmar also became one of the victims of this restructuring.
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