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Alpine F1 Team

Szafnauer explains impact of Alpine's 'no blame culture'

Alpine progressed from fifth to fourth in the Constructors' Championship in 2022 after beating McLaren by 14 points. Team boss Otmar Szafnauer believes that the changing culture at the squad has contributed to their success.

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Otmar Szafnauer has credited the 'no blame culture' at Alpine with contributing to the team's recent progress.

After finishing the 2021 season in fifth place, the squad moved up to fourth in 2022 after beating closest rivals McLaren by 14 points.

Szafnauer joined Alpine in February, having left Aston Martin one month earlier, and since then has noticed differences in the culture at the outfit.

"The culture there [at Alpine] has changed," Szafnauer told the F1 Nation podcast.

"It's hard to change culture, but I think they [were] at a place when it was Lotus, that took it to a different place than when it was Renault in the past.

"It was definitely different than what I was experiencing at Force India and Racing Point."

Szafnauer details Alpine's 'no blame culture'

Szafnauer believes that Alpine have benefitted from having a 'no blame culture' in place.

"I'm all for a 'no blame culture'," he explained.

"I think, to have a high-performing team, you can't be pointing fingers – you have to work together.

"The bigger the team is, the more important that is; when you have 1,000 people, you have to have psychological safety at work.

"When I first got there, somebody said to me, 'You know what, we have a 'no blame-blame culture'', which I didn't quite know what that was, so I tried to figure out what that was.

"We are working hard, and I think we're making great progress, and that comes from the leadership on a 'no blame culture'.

"When we're there, we'll pull together even more, work even harder, enjoy our work and the quest for the top three will become easier."

How accountability works at Alpine

Accountability remains a part of the 'no blame culture', says Szafnauer, but he believes that the approach encourages team members to be willing to take a risk without fear of blame.

"A 'no blame culture' doesn't mean no accountability," he added.

"What it means is, you're allowed to take risks and make mistakes without being blamed.

"If you repeat those mistakes over and over, and you're not at the right competence for that job, then we have to do something different, and that's either training so you get the competence or do something that you're competent at.

"But that doesn't mean accountability is lost in a 'no blame culture'."

Alpine will field a new driver line-up in 2023, with Pierre Gasly joining the incumbent Esteban Ocon following Fernando Alonso's departure for Aston Martin.

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