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Alpine detail 'shortcut' plans after 'amateur' blast from CEO

Otmar Szafnauer says Alpine will follow processes and will 'shortcut' in a similar manner to Aston Martin to improve in F1.

Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer says the team will use a Formula 1 "shortcut" used by rivals Aston Martin in a bid to climb up the grid. The Enstone squad have endured a tricky start to the season with just 14 points from five races as they look set to miss out on their target of finishing fourth in the Constructors' Championship while closing the gap to the big three teams. CEO Laurent Rossi blasted the team ahead of the Miami Grand Prix, calling some of their performances "amateur" and demanded improvements from Szafnauer. Alpine's lack of performance has been exaggerated by the improvement of Aston Martin, who have broken into the leading pack of teams, owing to their aggressive recruitment strategy - including Technical Director Dan Fallows from Red Bull and aero chief Eric Blandin from Mercedes. And Szafnauer says they will "shortcut" in a similar way to Aston.

Szafnauer pledge for Alpine

"Aston hired a lot of people from Red Bull and Mercedes, a lot of them, not just the two that you know about in Dan Fallows and Eric Blandin," Szafnauer told media, including RacingNews365. "There's two things you need to do if you want to shortcut the process. "Red Bull have an aerodynamic team of 50 people, it's not one, but the guy who sits on top of the 50, he gets all the ideas to do this, to do that and he gets all the learnings from those 50 people. "Then when you displace him, guess what? In his brain is all that learning from all that time and you shortcut the process of where you're going. "That one thing you need to do to shortcut, but then once you've got that, you still need that team of 50 underneath to continue the development, because you can only shortcut it for one spot at a time. "To continue, you need both things. We're going to shortcut it. When I said Red Bull have 50 people, we're at 38 and want to grow to 45. "So we have spots for seven or eight senior aerodynamicists that can help."

Alpine's 100-race plan

Renault resumed control of the team in 2016, committing to a five-year plan that would have had them in title contention by 2021. This goal was missed, with the rebadged Alpine squad being set a 100-race plan, which is currently a quarter of the way through. Szafnauer also explained how the current plan also encompasses building up the team's infrastructure, which was lacking at Enstone after years of under-investment. "When the 100-race plan happened, we also put a plan together for infrastructure that we needed, skills that we need," he said. "We're out trying to get the infrastructure, and some of it that you need, you have to write the tools, the software tools, so you've got to get the people that have the right tools. "We still have 75 races, I've stopped counting, but it is around 75, so if we have 25 a year, that's three years so it is like three-and-a-half years to go. "Within that three-and-a-half years, we'll get a new simulator, a new head of simulation - these are things that will come and when they come, we will take those steps. "You have to understand the people that you're trying to recruit, what they want out of life. "Can you supply what they want from life more than the team that they are at? If the answer is yes, or if some are say stuck in an organisation where is there is no room for promotion because the organisation is pretty solid, if you find somebody who is a rising star, you say: 'I've got room for you,' and they might come."

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