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Szafnauer Alpine F1 disappointment
Otmar Szafnauer bids farewell to Alpine mechanics with a handshake at his last race for the team in Belgium, July 2023.

Szafnauer’s Frustration at Alpine’s Unreal Goals

14/01/2024

Otmar Szafnauer expresses disappointment over his short tenure at Alpine F1. Despite internal praise, he laments the unrealistic timelines set by the team’s executives for achieving significant progress and success.

Otmar Szafnauer is frustrated for not having a longer opportunity at Alpine F1. The former director was dismissed due to the team’s lack of progress, but he laments not having the initially promised time to move up the hierarchy. He also asserts that his management style was well-received internally.

“I am mainly disappointed that we had different timelines to succeed. I was given 100 races, which seemed sufficient to me, because at 25 races per season, 100 races are about four seasons,” Szafnauer stated. “At 20 races a season, it’s five years.”

“I took part in 38 races, then I was told we were not progressing fast enough and they wanted to change things. I know what it means to change the culture and performance of a Formula 1 team. It takes time.”

“I’m not the only one saying it. Many others have also said that we were heading in the right direction. There was a lot of internal praise, and people said, ‘this is great, we like your management style, what you’re doing.'”

Szafnauer Critiques Alpine’s Hasty Goals

“I think we were going in the right direction. What didn’t work was that the senior executives at Alpine wanted success much faster than what was possible.”

“Simply impossible” to achieve the goals

Szafnauer emphasizes that his recruitment record was strong, and that the team developed structurally under his leadership at Enstone. He believes the trajectory the team was on was correct.

“When I left, we had hired between 70 and 80 additional people during the year and a half I was there. We didn’t fire anyone, we just hired new people.”

He compares this with Aston Martin F1, the team he led before Alpine, which took five years to achieve a semblance of success: “It didn’t happen in one year. It took time to recruit all these people. All this happened in the background.”

“One must not forget that Lawrence bought the team in 2018 and by 2023, they had a fast car. That’s the time it takes for this. Believing that it can be done in one or two years is naïve. It’s simply impossible.”

Szafnauer Alpine F1 disappointment Reasons Behind. Szafnauer Alpine F1 disappointment Reasons Behind

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