‘I just want to say thanks’ – Gasly pays tribute to departing Alpine bosses as he lets news ‘sink in’
Pierre Gasly has offered his initial reaction to the various Alpine leadership changes that were announced over the Belgian Grand Prix weekend, admitting that he needs time to “let everything sink in”.
As the F1 paddock arrived at Spa-Francorchamps, it was confirmed that Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer and Sporting Director Alan Permane would be leaving the outfit post-race, while Chief Technical Officer Pat Fry is on his way to Williams.
As a result, Bruno Famin, Vice President of Alpine Motorsports, will assume the role of Interim Team Principal from the Dutch Grand Prix. Famin had recently taken on the VP position, reporting to CEO Laurent Rossi, only for the latter to be moved to “special projects” with Philippe Krief succeeding him.
Meanwhile, current Alpine Academy Director Julian Rouse has been named Interim Sporting Director, with Matt Harman heading up the technical team at Enstone – both reporting to Famin.
Asked about the various changes, and how he is staying focused on driving, Gasly said: “My part of the job is trying to extract every single hundredth and millisecond out of this car and that’s what I try to do.
“Obviously there have been a few changes [to the management structure] and I haven’t really had time to sit down and let everything sink in.
“But I think the most important [thing] for me to say right now is I just want to thank Laurent, Otmar, Alan and Pat for their effort and their work with me since the start of the year.
“It hasn’t been the smoothest season and I think no one is pleased with the performance, but I wish them the very best for their future.”
Amid these off-track changes, and a rollercoaster season for Alpine so far, Gasly gave the squad cause for celebration with a P3 finish in the Spa Sprint, rising from sixth on the grid to third in mixed conditions.
Speaking about the result, he commented: “I think what’s most important for me is the impact that it has inside the team – more than the podium itself.
“It’s a Sprint race. It obviously sounds good and you get a little trophy, but you don't really jump on the box and stand on the podium.
“It’s a slightly different feeling, but nonetheless, you know, we take it. We finished that Sprint race in the top three. It was difficult conditions and not easy to keep it to the end.
“I’m really, really pleased for the guys, for the mood inside the garage, and everyone who’s been working since the start of the year.”