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Alpine F1 Team

Szafnauer identifies fierce rivals Alpine must beat in 2022

Otmar Szafnauer has been looking ahead to his first F1 season with Alpine after making the switch from Aston Martin.

Otmar Szafnauer
To news overview © RN365/MichaelPotts

Alpine enter the 2022 F1 season armed with a new-look BWT livery, new-look car and a new Team Principal in Otmar Szafnauer.

The former Force India chief has this winter made the leap from Aston Martin to Alpine amid yet another shake-up at Enstone. He brings with him 25 years of paddock experience as he looks to return Alpine, once Renault, to the championship-winning end of the Formula 1 grid.

For now, Alpine's aim is to remain as one of the sport's top five teams, amid tough competition from Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren.

But with Fernando Alonso onboard, the end goal must always be to deliver the two-time World Champion a car to rival the very best.

Alpine's plan to beat Aston Martin and "everybody else"

Alpine's most fierce rivals in the fight for a top-five spot are Szafnauer's former team, Aston Martin, which hold big dreams of soon dominating the sport with the backing of Canadian billionaire Laurence Stroll.

And while looking ahead to the 2022 season, Szafnauer name-checked his former employer as a side Alpine must look to beat if they are to find themselves regularly inside the points.

When asked what kind of potential he sees in his new team, Szafnauer said: "I have had the displeasure of racing against these formidable competitors [Alpine], and I remember too well when they beat us [Aston Martin] in Hungary and didn't put a foot wrong, and for that I congratulate them, that they are such competitors, a group of racers.

"I look forward to joining them and helping them not just beat the Aston Martins of this world, but everybody else on track."

What Szafnauer's appointment will bring to Alpine

Not only has Szafnauer's appointment already brought a new title sponsor in BWT, which formerly turned the cars of his old Force India team pink, but the arrival of the 57-year-old will bring a wealth of experience.

The Romanian-American started his career with the Ford motor company in 1986 and became Operations Director at BAR F1 in 1998. Since then, Szafnauer has held top jobs with Honda, Force India and Aston Martin.

When asked what his arrival will offer Alpine, he added: "I'll bring my style of collaborative leadership. I heard Luca [de Meo, Renault CEO] mention the glue that keeps us all together is very important – and I do feel that the glue that keeps us all together pointing in the right direction is key to this.

"I'll try to bring a really strong glue, so my style of leadership, collaborativeness and trustfulness within the organisation."

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