Culling of the herd at Alpine F1 team

Otmar Szafnauer (USA) Alpine F1 Team. Alpine F1 Team Studio Images, Thursday 24th February 2022.

Times are changing at Alpine and one presumes the departure of Laurent Rossi as CEO was the first domino to topple but now the dominos are really starting to fall.

Alpine announced the departure of recently hired Otmar Szafnauer from the team principal role and perhaps more interesting is the release of Alan Permane who has been a long-time employee of the team. Alan has been with the team for 34 years and I have often wondered how he managed to avoid the hire and fire chaos of F1 over these long years.

Pat Fry is also leaving the team to join Williams F1.

These changes are nothing short of a complete overhaul of the team’s management. It’s like taking a leaf blower to the offices and blowing out all the big leaves. The bigger question, apart from Alpine feeling like the management was not fit-for-purpose, is the interim bodies who will fill these roles and if there is any prospect for poaching industry leaders they feel will turn the team around.

This all publicly started going down hill with the failure to sign Oscar Piastri and getting duped by Fernando Alonso. The keen-eyed will know that when two drivers like Fernando Alonso and Oscar Piastri (managed by veteran Mark Webber) don’t want to be with the team, there could be trouble.

Alpine Press Release:

BWT Alpine F1 Team announces today it will part ways with Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer by mutual agreement following the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix.

Otmar will continue his duties as normal for this weekend’s race in Belgium, before leaving the team ahead of the summer break. The team would like to thank Otmar for his hard work over the past 18 months and for leading the team in achieving fourth place in the 2022 Constructors’ Championship. The team wishes him the best for the future.

The team can also confirm it will part ways with Sporting Director Alan Permane by mutual agreement. Alan will also continue his role this weekend in Belgium before departing ahead of the summer break. After 34 distinguished years at Enstone, the team extends its thanks to Alan and wishes him the best in his future endeavours.

The team also announces that Pat Fry will leave the team to continue his career in Formula 1 elsewhere.

Bruno Famin, VP, Alpine Motorsports, will assume the role of Interim Team Principal of BWT Alpine F1 Team from the Dutch Grand Prix onwards. Current Alpine Academy Director Julian Rouse is named Interim Sporting Director, with Matt Harman leading the technical team at Enstone. Both Julian and Matt will report to Bruno Famin.

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