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Alpine F1 Team

Ex-Alpine chiefs hit out at "arrogant" management

After Otmar Szafnauer and Alan Permane left Alpine after the Belgian Grand Prix, the French team's operations have come in for criticism.

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Two former senior managers at Alpine have joined the chorus of criticism of the French team's operations, after Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer and Sporting Director Alan Permane left the team following the Belgian Grand Prix.

Cyril Abiteboul served as Team Principal of the then-Renault team from 2017 to 2020, leaving just before it was rebranded to Alpine.

The Frenchman, who now heads up Hyundai's motorsport programme, said Alpine were too impatient with Szafnauer, who had only joined the team some 18 months ago, and added that there was an arrogance about the team which has contributed to their being outperformed this year by McLaren and Aston Martin.

"It probably shows management impatience and dissatisfaction with the results," Abiteboul told France Info.

"And probably there was some arrogance at the beginning of the season. If you don't want to acknowledge reality, then you're going to keep dreaming images in front of yourself, and that's what happened now.

"They have not made the same great progress as competitors such as McLaren and Aston Martin."

Alpine "deserves better"

Former Alpine Executive Director Marcin Budkowski, who left the team just before Szafnauer joined in January 2022, said there was a lack of effective leadership at Alpine.

"The team deserves better – better results, but definitely better management," Budkowski told Viaplay.

"The problem with Renault has always been that it has big plans, but it doesn't invest enough money in those plans.

"The bar is raised every year, but the financial resources remain the same, but that's something the board doesn't want to hear.

"Otmar knows what he is doing, he knows how difficult it is to become successful and how much money is involved. I don't think Renault appreciated that insight."

Prost also hits out at Alpine

The comments from Abiteboul and Budkowski echo those of Alain Prost, who branded Laurent Rossi "incapable" and 'incompetent' following the erstwhile CEO's departure from Alpine a week before Szafnauer and Permane.

"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 people," Prost told L'Equipe last month.

The four-time World Champion had served as Non-Executive Director at Alpine, but left the team before the 2022 season, claiming that a lack of respect had been shown to him, and that Rossi "wanted the spotlight".

F1 2023 Belgian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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