Update | 'Deal between Alpine and Szafnauer done, announcement soon'

09-11-2021 15:52 | Updated: 11-11-2021 17:15
by GPblog.com
Update | 'Deal between Alpine and Szafnauer done, announcement soon'

Not only drivers change teams sometimes, team owners do as well. If we are to believe the French media, there is even a spicy transfer in the F1 paddock.

Transfer to Alpine

Ottmar Szafnauer, currently the general manager of Aston Martin, could be put in charge of Alpine, reports the French AutoHebdo. The arrival of the American would be part of the major restructuring plan that Laurent Rossi, general manager of Alpine Cars, is currently working on. Alpine is fed up with the fact that the F1-team has been in the middle of the pack for years. The victory of Esteban Ocon in Hungary does not change that.

With Szafnauer, Alpine would be bringing in someone with a lot of experience in Formula 1. At the beginning of this century, the Romanian-American held a senior position at Honda, which at that time was making its comeback as an engine supplier. Later, Szafnauer went to work for what was then Force Idea. Under his leadership the team developed into a serious threat to the middle of the table. After first being renamed Racing Point, the American is now at the helm of its reincarnation, Aston Martin.

Inestimable value

For Alpine it will certainly be a factor that Szafnauer first looked behind the scenes at Honda, and then went on to lead teams running Mercedes engines. The knowledge the team boss gained from that experience could be invaluable to Alpine.

Update | Announcement Szafnauer at Alpine seems near

Several media outlets are now suggesting that Szafnauer will actually leave Aston Martin for the Alpine team. Motorsport.com reports that the deal is already done, but that there is no formal confirmation yet. This announcement could possibly come as early as this weekend during the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Both teams refuse to comment on the rumours. An Aston Martin spokesman says: "It's speculative conjecture. We couldn't comment on it therefore." A spokesman for Alpine adds: "These are rumours that we are not going to comment on."

Sebastian Vettel also let it be known at the press conference that he knew nothing about the situation. "I have heard that, but I don't know what is going on", he says. There have been rumours for some time now that Alpine top man Davide Brivio will be leaving the team, so that a place in the team will be free is likely.

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