Szafnauer refutes job risk amidst Alpine’s challenges

After facing difficult races at Silverstone and Hungary, Alpine is looking to make progress at Spa-Francorchamps, expecting a two-tenth improvement this weekend.

A crash during the Hungarian Grand Prix resulted in a double DNF for French drivers Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly, adding to the struggles faced by the Renault-owned team. Consequently, they slipped to P6 in the constructors’ standings.

Team boss Otmar Szafnauer emphasized that they had no control over the DNFs, attributing one of them to a rare component failure from a manufacturer dealing with helicopters and airlines.

“We shouldn’t worry about these things, just focus on what we can control and do a good job,” Szafnauer told DAZN.

Recent times have witnessed ownership and management changes at the Enstone-based team, fueling speculation about Szafnauer’s job security.

When asked about this, Szafnauer highlighted that Laurent Rossi, who hired him, is now focusing on special projects. However, Szafnauer reaffirmed his commitment to the project, as it was Renault CEO Luca de Meo who ultimately convinced him to join.

Alpine’s project was envisioned for 100 races, and they have completed about 30 so far. Szafnauer acknowledged that it takes time for a team to achieve significant results, referencing Red Bull’s acquisition of Jaguar, which took them five years to start winning.

“I know Luca is a man of his word, and he gave me his word of 100 races to start winning,” Szafnauer said, emphasizing that stability is crucial when managing a team of nearly 1000 people.

Regarding performance improvements, Szafnauer expressed optimism about gaining about two-tenths with the introduction of a new floor during the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

“We’ll take it there,” the Alpine team boss asserted, hoping to turn their fortunes around and make significant strides on the track.