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Alpine F1 Team

Szafnauer out as Alpine Team Principal

The Alpine boss had been in place as Team Principal since February 2022.

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Alpine has announced that Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer is to leave the team after the Belgian Grand Prix.

Szafnauer was appointed in February last year to replace Marcin Budkowski as part of a managerial reshuffle, guiding the team to fourth place during his sole full season in charge.

But a disappointing start to the new season has seen Aston Martin and latterly McLaren leapfrog the team in the Constructors' standings, with consecutive double DNFs in Britain and Hungary have seen the French manufacturer drop to sixth in the standings.

RacingNews365 sources indicated both Szafnauer and Sporting Director Alan Permane had been relieved of their roles, effective after the current weekend, before Alpine confirmed the news ahead of Belgian GP qualifying.

Szafnauer's departure follows the exit of Laurent Rossi as Alpine CEO last week, with the Frenchman being moved onto "special projects" within the company.

Rossi, who had launched into a tirade at the Miami Grand Prix - labelling the Alpine F1 operation as 'amateurish' - was replaced by Philippe Krief, whose sole focus was on Alpine cars.

Instead, Szafnauer was reporting to VP Alpine Motorsports Bruno Famin, who is present at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend.

Confirmation

Confirming the news before the FIA Team Principal's press conference, where Famin was slated to participate, an Alpine statement said: "BWT Alpine F1 Team announces today it will part ways with Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer by mutual agreement following the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix.

"Otmar will continue his duties as normal for this weekend’s race in Belgium, before leaving the team ahead of the summer break.

"The team would like to thank Otmar for his hard work over the past 18 months and for leading the team in achieving fourth place in the 2022 Constructors' Championship. The team wishes him the best for the future.

"The team can also confirm it will part ways with Sporting Director Alan Permane by mutual agreement. Alan will also continue his role this weekend in Belgium before departing ahead of the summer break. After 34 distinguished years at Enstone, the team extends its thanks to Alan and wishes him the best in his future endeavours.

"The team also announces that Pat Fry will leave the team to continue his career in Formula 1 elsewhere.

"Bruno Famin, VP, Alpine Motorsports, will assume the role of Interim Team Principal of BWT Alpine F1 Team from the Dutch Grand Prix onwards. Current Alpine Academy Director Julian Rouse is named Interim Sporting Director, with Matt Harman leading the technical team at Enstone.

"Both Julian and Matt will report to Bruno Famin."

F1 2023 Belgian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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