Alpine boss responds to Alonso’s accusations. Former Alpine Renault driver Fernando Alonso was quick to suggest that his former Formula 1 team, for which he drove until 2022, lacked ambition. The Alpine boss responded to the Spaniard.
Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has responded to remarks made by two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, who recently criticised his former employer’s lack of ambition by saying that finishing fourth – Alpine’s place in 2022 – would not be a success for his new team Aston Martin.
When asked about his former driver’s clear targeting of Alpine, Szafnauer was keen to point out that Fernando Alonso was one of the people who most celebrated Alpine’s fourth place finish last year.
“When we finished fourth, if you look back, he was as happy as everyone else in the team,” said the American.
“When the year before you finish fifth and your ambition is to finish fourth, it’s not an easy thing to do. We had to beat McLaren.”
“I’ve been to Woking [McLaren’s UK headquarters] before, and when you go past they have a huge trophy cabinet, so they are not easy to beat.”
“So I think you have to celebrate those successes when you say you want to be in the top four and not fifth. I don’t think it’s shameful to say ‘we did it and we’re celebrating’.”
Alpine sets goal for 2023
For this 2023 season, Alpine has set itself the goal of consolidating its lead over fifth while moving closer to the top three: “A good year for us would be to be closer to third, because there was a big gap between fourth and third last year.”
“So ideally we would like to be closer to the top three and a little bit further away from fifth place.”
“Although we finished fourth, it was a hard-fought battle with McLaren, and we were only a few points ahead of them at the end of the season [fourteen,ed]. Fourth and fifth were almost equal on points and third was a long way off.”
“We want to get considerably closer to third place and be a strong fourth this year, then look to get even closer the following year.”
This season, the Alpine team will rely on an all-French driver pairing with Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly.