Departing Szafnauer hits out at ‘fake news’

Szafnauer is eager to make a swift return to a role similar to the one he had at Alpine.

According to the departing team boss, there is a proliferation of “fake news everywhere” in Formula 1 these days.

Szafnauer’s last race in the paddock, alongside long-serving sporting director Alan Permane, took place at Belgium on Sunday, where they were both immediately ousted.

Addressing the rumors that he left before the chequered flag at Spa-Francorchamps, Szafnauer sarcastically remarked to Sky Deutschland, “That’s the beauty of Formula 1 – People just invent things. There’s fake news everywhere.”

He asserted, “I was here the whole time,” emphasizing his presence on the pitwall, contributing to strategic decisions to secure some valuable points.

Ultimately, Esteban Ocon was the only one who managed to score points, securing eighth place for Alpine.

Regarding the track conditions at Spa, Szafnauer explained, “You need a lot of power on this track, and we don’t have that at the moment.”

His fervent denial of the “fake news” about his early departure could be attributed to his strong desire to make a prompt comeback to Formula 1.

The 58-year-old expressed, “What I’ll miss most is the competition – I love fighting others, I’m a fighter. But I’ll also miss all the wonderful people I worked with at Alpine.”

It is believed that part of Szafnauer’s severance includes a non-competition clause, possibly preventing his return until 2025.

When questioned about the prospects of his return, he replied, “I can’t answer that right now. Hopefully, it will be soon and in an important role where I can have an impact on a team – where I can put together a great team. Everything I wanted to do at Alpine, but the time was too short.”

Fernando Alonso made a switch from Alpine to Aston Martin this year, but he didn’t pay much attention to the latest management turmoil at his former Renault-owned team, stating at Spa-Francorchamps, “I haven’t really paid any attention to it.”