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Alpine F1 Team

Szafnauer: Alpine unfazed by summer break spotlight

Otmar Szafnauer is adamant that Alpine will be unaffected by their driver transfer dramas from the summer break.

Alonso Canada
To news overview © XPB

Otmar Szafnauer insists that Alpine will not be distracted by the aftermath of their dramatic driver line-up issues during the summer break.

At the start of four-week F1 summer break, Fernando Alonso was confirmed to be switching from Alpine to Aston Martin for the 2023 season, filling the seat vacated by the retiring Sebastian Vettel.

In turn, Alpine sought to quickly confirm their 2023 line-up, and announced Esteban Ocon and current reserve driver Oscar Piastri as their drivers for next season.

However, in a bizarre twist, the announcement was refuted by Piastri, who took to social media to publicly declare that he would not be racing for Alpine in 2023.

Piastri is highly expected to be announced as a 2023 McLaren driver in the near future, following the confirmed departure of Daniel Ricciardo at the end of the season.

Looking ahead to the Belgian GP, Alpine Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer began by declaring that the team were refreshed and motivated in their own battle for P4 in the Constructors' Championship.

"We are all feeling re-energised after the enforced Formula 1 summer shutdown. It’s always a good time to take stock on the season so far, reflect on the positives and assess some of the areas for improvement," said Szafnauer.

"Now, we are all feeling ready and motivated for the second part of the season where there is so much to play for in terms of the championship."

Szafnauer not distracted by 'world media' attention

Piastri's public contract denial became a big sporting headline around the world, which would undoubtedly have been unwelcome attention to the Alpine team.

Szafnauer continued to play down the significance of the media focus or Alonso's departure at the end of the year.

"Clearly the team has been quite prominent in the world media in the days after Hungary and just before the summer break, however, it is absolutely no distraction for us once we hit the race track again," added Szafnauer.

"While we’re losing a fantastic asset in Fernando for next year, his decision has zero bearing on what we want to achieve together in 2022.

"We’ll be pushing hard as a team - with both Fernando and Esteban in the car for the remainder of the year - in order to put ourselves in the best possible position to meet the aforementioned targets for this championship season.

"I know both drivers are highly motivated so we’re all looking forward to channeling that energy on track."

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