(Motorsports news) In a tumultuous race marred by rain at Zandvoort, French driver Pierre Gasly came in fourth on the road, but Sergio Perez’s pitlane speeding penalty moved him up to third. With Gasly placing third in the Belgian sprint race, Alpine now has two top-three finishes in as many rounds. Following differences of opinion with senior management at team owner Renault on the direction of the team, team principal Otmar Szafnauer and sporting director Alan Permane, an Enstone veteran of 34 years, parted ways. Pat Fry, the chief technology officer, is also traveling to Williams.
Additionally, Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi was demoted to “special projects” and Bruno Famin, a former FIA employee, took over the motorsport division in addition to continuing to head the Viry-based F1 engine program. Gasly believed that Alpine was moving in the “right direction” because of his podium finish behind Fernando Alonso and dominant Zandvoort winner Max Verstappen.
“We need to keep working, keep improving the car, and work this way until the end of the year,” he told French television Canal+. I’m happy to see that the team is coming together and that we’re getting better at cooperating. We once again demonstrated that it is moving in the correct path today. Having started 12th, Gasly’s strong result was predicated on pitting for intermediate tyres at the end of the opening lap in response to a shower as the lights went out.
The majority of the grid took longer to respond, pitting at the end of the second tour. Gasly added he “immediately understood” what was at stake at the time of the first cloud burst in a race that was later red flagged for 43 minutes owing to another downpour. Gasly said: “We had to make extremely important decisions. Coming out of the last corner on lap one, I immediately understood that there was a big opportunity for us, so I asked the team to pit straightaway, and it paid off.
We also had a car that performed well today, and I was able to compete with the Ferrari and maintain a reasonable distance from Alonso. “Many things happened, but you had to remain calm,” he continued. I’m incredibly proud of the team’s effort and what they were able to accomplish.