“Shouldn’t have an impact” says Szafnauer on Alpine’s upper management changes

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Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer believes recent changes to Alpine’s upper management will have no impact on his control over the Formula 1 team and is confident in his and the team’s ability to further move up the pecking order in the sport.

Szafnauer on the grid ahead of the 2023 Australian Grand Prix
Photo credit: alpinecars.com

With the news of Bruno Famin’s promotion to Vice President of Alpine Motorsport as well as Laurent Rossi moving to special projects with Philippe Krief set to take up the role as Alpine cars CEO, Formula 1 team principal Otmar Szafnauer was asked how these changes may affect the team going forward.

“It’s not really that big of a change.”

Speaking ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, Szafnauer was to the point with his response, claiming the changes to the management structure should have no impact on the operations of the Formula 1 team. He also noted Bruno Famin’s existing relationship with the sport and Alpine’s motorsport endeavours in general.

“It shouldn’t have an impact whatsoever,” he responded. “I’ve been there for about a year and a half now and the plans that I’ve already put in place we’re going to continue to pursue. The infrastructure that we’ve embarked on we’re continuing to pursue and some of the hires that we’re looking for, some like-minded individuals, that’s still happening.

“Bruno [Famin] has been with us for over a year in Viry and also in endurance racing and Dakar. This just adds Formula 1, although he is part of Formula 1 already, so it’s not really that big of a change. On the corporate side there is a new CEO of Alpine Cars who’s focus will be Alpine Cars and not Formula 1.

“I’ve been told that [Laurent Rossi] is moving to special projects, and no more than that. But I don’t think his involvement will be Formula 1.”

“We’re more like-minded in the way we go forward.”

When asked if the change to management structure will allow the Formula 1 team to operate more independently as they are no longer reporting to the CEO of Alpine, Szafnauer noted the benefits of reporting to Bruno Famin due to his experience in motorsport.

“You’re absolutely right,” he replied. “The CEO of Alpine Cars will be focussed on Alpine Cars exclusively. Bruno [Famin], who has been in motorsport for a very long time and has worked closely with Enstone, because he also runs Viry, will just mean that we’re more like-minded in the way we go forward.”

“I think we have enough Formula 1 experience.”

Szafnauer doubled down in support of the management changes when asked if he believes the new setup has enough Formula 1 experience to allow the team to thrive. He notes his own experience in Formula 1 as well as the extensive motorsport experience of others involved in the team.

“I’ve been doing this for twenty-six years now, Formula 1, and thirty-three years of motorsport. So I think we have enough Formula 1 experience. And if you look beyond me in the team that we have there, we’re very experienced in Enstone. So absolutely, I believe we have the experience.”