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Alpine F1 Team

Alpine changes confirmed after scathing Rossi criticism

Rossi was forthcoming with his critique of the team's start to the season when speaking in Miami.

Rossi Szafnauer
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

Otmar Szafnauer has confirmed "changes are coming" at Alpine after CEO Laurent Rossi's scathing criticism.

Rossi labelled the team's start to the season as 'amateurish' at the Miami Grand Prix, with struggles in Bahrain and Azerbaijan particularly excruciating.

The comments, in which Rossi underlined 'the buck stops' with Szafnauer, have led to suggestions the Team Principal's role is at risk.

But responding to the criticism at the Monaco Grand Prix, the former Aston Martin boss told media, including RacingNews365.com: "In the first races that we had a couple of good ones, like we said, up and down, and a couple of them that should have gone better.

"And when we make mistakes, or when team members make mistakes, we have to make sure we understand the root cause of those mistakes, and then put countermeasures in place so that we never do them again.

"There are two aspects to Formula 1 racing, one of which is the racing part – we have 1,000 people that work at Enstone and 350 in Viry, and of those 100 travel to the races here, so there's extracting every bit of the underlying performance of the car, that's one element of it.

"But there's also the underlying performance of the car and that happens at Enstone.

"We're working hard to make sure that we deliver on improving this year's car the best we can. I think we did a good job last year of in-season improvements.

"We have to do the same and over the winter, again, underlying pace of the car, I think we're not happy because we're not Red Bull. However, within our immediate competition, we made gains on both Ferrari and Mercedes, and the outlier this year is Aston, going from seventh to be the second, third fastest car.

"So we hit most of our targets - not all of them - over the winter, and for us to hit all of them we have to do some make some changes within the organisation and those are those changes are coming."

Deep understanding

Szafnauer replaced Marcin Budkowski at the helm having left Aston Martin ahead of last season and believes he has the knowledge of Alpine he needs to drive the team forward.

"I've been there just over a year now and I spent the first six, seven, eight months assessing deeply as to the team, the structure, how it operates, how it functions, the good, the bad, the indifferent, and I have a good understanding," he said.

"I've been doing this for 25 years at a very senior level and I know what it takes to move a team from, say, last to fourth or mid-grid to second.

"So, I have an understanding and the plans are in place."

On whether Rossi's comments added pressure to his role, Szafnauer replied: "We put pressure on ourselves if we're not winning, we all do. We don't have a Red Bull here. Red Bull are happy and the rest of us are working hard to catch up."

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