‘I know how good Alpine can become’ says new Team Principal Szafnauer, after launching 2022 challenger
Newly-installed Alpine Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer has vowed to bring success to the Enstone/Viry-based outfit, after he helped launch the team’s A522 challenger for the 2022 season.
Having departed Aston Martin in January, it was announced last week that Szafnauer would take over the role of Team Principal at Alpine, with the outfit having undergone a restructure over the winter that saw the departure of Executive Director Marcin Budkowski and four-time F1 champion and Non-Executive Director Alain Prost.
And with Szafnauer having revealed the new A522 at an event in Paris, he spoke of his pride at being asked to head up the Alpine team, with whom he’s frequently sparred in the midfield over the years.
“I’m exceptionally proud to be joining BWT Alpine F1 Team as Team Principal,” said Szafnauer. “I’m very grateful to Laurent [Rossi, Alpine Chief Executive Officer] for the trust to lead this team in my role and I’m looking forward to beginning this new journey.
“I know a lot about the team as they were fierce competitors from my previous roles. I know just how good this team is, and, indeed, how good it can become. The personnel on board, and both drivers, are so strong and I’m excited to get down to business.
“We have to be passionate about what we do, whatever the task,” added Szafnauer. “A high-performing team’s key to success has, and always will be, teamwork. We’ll control what we are able to control, we’ll enjoy our journey, and we’ll enjoy the racing because that is what we’re here to do. As a team, we’re all racers and that is why we enjoy our work in Formula 1. With this passion and teamwork, I know success will come.”
Szafnauer’s new role will see him team up once more with 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix winner Esteban Ocon, who drove for him previously at Force India and Racing Point in 2017 and 2018 – with Szafnauer keen to be reunited with the Frenchman, while also looking forward to working with two-time champion Fernando Alonso.
“I know Esteban very well from his two seasons at Force India,” said Szafnauer. “Back then, he was young, raw, hugely talented and very quick on-track. In fact, not much has changed since. His talent is clear to see, and I was very happy and proud to see him claim his first Grand Prix win last season. It’s great to team up with Esteban again as I have a good relationship with him already.
“Everyone knows Fernando’s exceptional qualities. His experience is invaluable, and I thoroughly believe the team’s line-up is amongst the strongest on the grid. It’s going to be enjoyable to work with a motorsport legend in Fernando and to reunite with Esteban.”