Otamar Szafnauer joins Alpine as their team principal

(Motorsports news) Alpine have appointed Otmar Szafnauer as their new Team Principal with former Deputy Sport Secretary General for the FIA Bruno Famin joining to head up the engine division for Alpine F1 team. They both will report to CEO Laurent Rossi, who took over the team last January and since then he has been reviewing the team and how it operates before making changes. Long term  Renault employee Remi Taffin left his role as the head of the power unit division, while Executive Director Marcin Budkowski parted ways with the team earlier this year

Szafnauer left Aston Martin early this year and joined Alpine with 33 years of experience across motorsport racing. He was subsequently linked with a move to the French manufacturer last November. Otmar was an integral part for the racing point team as he had led them to their first victory in Bahrain in 2020 and since then his reputation has skyrocketed. Szafnauer makes a lot of sense for the Alpine team given his experience of F1, which stretches back to joining the BAR team in 1998 and then also being a part of the 2009 championship winning team Brawn. He went on to become team vice president in 2002, staying in that role through its transformation into Honda. He moved to Force India as chief operating officer, working alongside team principal/owner Vijay Mallya and his deputy team principal Bob Fearnley.

When the consortium, led by Lawrence Stroll bought the team after it went into administration in 2018, Szafnauer was made team principal. He has since then played a key role in holding the team together and mainly sustaining the team on a very low budget , and along with that he was also an integral part in the first two-and-a-half years of its expansion under Lawerence Stroll’s leadership. He also played a vital role in getting Sebstian Vettel to Aston Martin last year. 

“With Otmar and Bruno joining the team, we move to a new level for 2022,” said Rossi. “Otmar will bring his unique experience in motorsports and his uncompromising desire to win, while Bruno’s proven track record in building technologies that make a difference in competition and their subsequent transference to road cars is critical for our project as a sports team and as a brand.

“Over the past year I have seen Davide’s talent to identify the best in people, and to make them perform as well as they can. I am delighted to utilize this unique skill across all existing Alpine assets and new ones we are just starting to explore. Our band of racers is complete and ready to bring the team towards its ambitious objectives in 2022.”

Szafnauer said: “I am thrilled to join BWT Alpine F1 Team and ready to get to work with everyone to achieve our challenge: bring the team to fight for the Championship within the next 100 races. My attention is focused on preparing for the start of the season in Bahrain. As one of the three car manufacturers involved in Formula 1, Alpine is fully armed to achieve its ambition, I can’t wait to start the journey!”

Famin added: “It’s great to be back in competition, and even greater to join Alpine, with such ambition and unique engineering capacities. Viry-Châtillon is among the greatest factories one could dream of, I can’t wait to join its amazing talents, and to work closely with the teams in Enstone, Dieppe and Boulogne-Billancourt.”

Brivio said: “Alpine’s band of racers is a key to its long-term performance, and I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to the exciting ambition to shape a new culture within racing that is responsible and inclusive. Formula 1 is a flagship, but we also need to develop our ambition in new territories, and I am ready to support Laurent Rossi towards this goal.”

Also read: Mercedes unveil W13 as the Silver Arrows plan to regain F1 supremacy


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