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Szafnauer explains changes he has introduced at Alpine

Otmar Szafnauer is still in the early days of his role as Team Principal at Alpine, having joined the team at the beginning of the season. However, the former Aston Martin boss has already made some suggestions for things that can be done differently.

Otmar Szafnauer says he cannot take the credit for Alpine's performance so far in 2022, but has given an insight into some of the changes he has initiated since joining the team. Szafnauer was confirmed as the French squad's new Team Principal in February, having left Aston Martin one month earlier. Since then, the outfit have looked reasonably strong during the early stages of the season, and currently hold P6 in the Constructors' Championship. The team have amassed 26 points, only five less than Alfa Romeo in fifth. The Miami Grand Prix proved to be a particularly good weekend for Esteban Ocon, who started the race from the back of the field following a crash in Free Practice 3, but was able to recover to finish eighth in Sunday's Grand Prix.

Szafnauer happy to bring his experience to Alpine

When asked after the race in Miami what he feels able to take the credit for since arriving at Alpine, Szafnauer told media, including RacingNews365.com : "People were congratulating me today, and I said, 'Look, I wasn't here for the development, and don't give me any credit.' "And they said, 'No, no, listen, you've got to take credit, because if it doesn't go so well, you'll take the blame!'" Szafnauer admits that, whilst it is still early days in his role with the team, he is pleased to have been able to use his experience to make some suggestions on changes that can be made. "What can I take credit for? I'm still learning, I'm still in a learning process," he explained. "There are some things that I've initiated that we should be looking at, and improving the car as we develop it. "There are some things that I said, 'Look, we should be looking at this a little bit more', and that's happening now. "We're doing experiments because of it, and I'm happy that I can bring some of that experience with me."

How Szafnauer fosters team atmosphere

After several years with the Aston Martin team, stretching back to their previous guises as Force India and Racing Point, Szafnauer has learned about how to foster a good team dynamic, and this is another aspect of his experience that he is utilising at Alpine. "Stability is key," he said. "[To] get the right people and keep them there is key. How you treat them is key as well, so they have the freedom to take risks, and if the risks that they take don't work out, there are no ramifications, because, if there are, then you tend not to take risks anymore. "And if you don't take risks, your learning isn't accelerated. So it's that atmosphere of, 'Go ahead, take the risks. If you fail, that's okay. We learn from the failures.' "You often learn more from failures than successes. It's just [a case of], don't repeat the same thing over and over and over [when] there are failures. "That's the atmosphere I like to foster, and the way you do that is [to] make sure that those who are leading all the groups in the suburbs have also that mentality, and they too institute that, and then it just happens throughout the organisation. "Unfortunately, that takes time. It doesn't happen overnight."

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