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Sergio Perez

Perez issues Alpine warning after Szafnauer sacking

The two previously worked together to great effect at Force India/Racing Point.

Szafnauer Hungary
To news overview © XPBimages

Red Bull's Sergio Perez has warned Alpine of the consequences of short-termism in Formula 1, after the French squad parted ways with Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer following the Belgian Grand Prix.

A management shake-up at Alpine sees Szafnauer leave after less than 18 months with the Enstone outfit, with Sporting Director Alan Permane also departing the team after Spa following 34 years of service.

Other recent Alpine departures include Chief Technical Officer Pat Fry, who leaves to take up a role at Williams, and CEO Laurent Rossi, who was removed a week before Szafnauer and Permane.

Perez worked alongside Szafnauer for seven seasons at Force India/Racing Point, during which time the Silverstone-based outfit gained a reputation for punching above its weight and beating better-funded teams, with Perez notably taking his maiden win at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.

Perez surprised by Szafnauer sacking

Perez noted his surprise at the American-Romanian's removal from Alpine and emphasised that senior managers need to be given time to affect change in F1.

"Yeah, I was quite surprised with it, given how short notice it was," Perez told media, including RacingNews365.

"I think Otmar is great. For any person in that position, you've got to give them time.

"I think Otmar lacked time to really show his potential, which I know is huge because I've seen what he's done in other teams with very limited budgets, and with not-so-limited budgets as well.

"It is a shame that they let him move on. But whoever comes needs to have proper time, because all these things in Formula 1 take massive time."

Rumours have suggested that former Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto, who left the Scuderia at the end of 2022, is a leading candidate to replace Szafnauer at Alpine.

F1 2023 Belgian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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