Alpine CEO ‘proud’ to have Szafnauer

Alpine CEO ‘proud’ to have Szafnauer

Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi has said he fully trusts his Formula 1 team boss Otmar Szafnauer, calling him “the proudest” signing.

Despite Szafnauer endured a difficult few weeks, having found itself at the center of the F1 driver market when Alpine lost Fernando Alonso to Aston Martin, already Oscar Piastriwho went to McLaren, Rossi has nothing but praise for him.

Rossi He says that despite what has happened at driver level, with the team still upset by Piastri’s lack of loyalty, he is convinced that Szafnauer has been helping to boost Alpine’s competitiveness since taking over the reins. in March.

And while there are those who suggest there is an unclear management structure at Alpine, Rossi says everything is absolutely clear internally now that things have settled down at the team.

“Otmar is the boss, and he’s always been that way since he arrived,” Rossi explains.

“We had a transition period to get a few things off the ground, but Otmar is definitely one of the signings I’m most proud of.”

“He’s been delivering every day since he arrived, and he’s been the boss. On things like (the drivers), we stay close, so we knew all the news.”

“We agree on the maximums, the limits, the borders, because of course we have to be aligned, and I need to know (what’s going on). But there was no real disconnect between us .”

Although Rossi hasn’t been as well known to the public this year as before, he says that’s a consequence of Szafnauer’s choice as team manager.

Previously, the team had a three-headed management structure: Rossi, the former CEO, Marcin Budkowskiand the race director, Davide Brivio.

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Otmar Szafnauer, boss of Alpine in F1.

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

During the European winter, Budkowski left the team and Brivio took on a new role overseeing young riders and other racing projects for Alpine.

With Szafnauer in place, Rossi says he has always intended to step back and now wants to be less involved in F1.

“Last year I was very involved in the team, especially since there was no team manager,” he said.

“The management had to be there, and I needed to understand how the team works before making the changes I want to make, which I did.”

“I think they work: and on the track that we deliver, which is the most important thing in the sport by the way. So I have to take a step back.”

“This year, for example, in the first half of the season, I was here about two out of three grands prix, which is already too much. By the end of the year, I will be here in a grand prix on out of two, maybe even less, and that’s normal.

“I have 17 reports to do, including one for F1. I have to build cars, I have to expand the dealer network. I have to think about go-to-market strategies, marketing and brand building. The other 16 reports are as important as the F1 one, maybe even more, because at some point it will be funded, so it’s normal that it disappears a bit.

“In the same way that Luca (de Meo, CEO of Renault) is not always above me because he knows all the important decisions, I never take a critical decision without him intervening, or unless it approves or gives its opinion.”

“Otmar and I work the same way. I’m just connected to him and I know everything that’s going on.”

“Otmar is the boss. I trust him completely and he’s doing a great job. So he gives me that peace of mind and I’m confident he’ll continue to grow the team.”

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