Otmar Szafnauer, who recently parted ways with Alpine, is already looking ahead to his next career move. The former team principal hinted that his next job is lined up and will provide him with the opportunity to implement changes that were not feasible during his time at Alpine.
Szafnauer, who joined the Enstone squad just last season, expressed his frustration with the short-term expectations set by Alpine’s management, which he deemed unrealistic given the team’s investment.
Confidence in Szafnauer ‘eroded’
The writing was on the wall as far back as May this year. One of the keys to success in a Formula 1 team is the trust a manager can place in his employees and when asked if he still has confidence in Szafnauer, Laurent Rossi, the Alpine CEO at the time replied:
“Confidence is something that increases with good results and erodes with bad results.”
“Everyone starts with a capital of confidence and then you have to manage it. There are only so many setbacks we can have in a sport, in a competitive world, because it basically shows. Everyone can tell if we are going in the right direction or the wrong direction.”
“So it directly impacts your confidence capital. I would say Otmar is very capable, but he has a big job to do.”
Szafnauer axing had been preplanned
Rossi back in May continued that; “The team managed to get fourth [last season]. They have the means to get fourth, more so than others. I want them to be fourth. If they don’t, it’s going to be a failure.
“If they fail by giving 500% best and turning this ship around, there will be extenuating circumstances and it bodes well for the future. If not, it’s the rule of business, there’s going to be consequences.
“And I won’t wait until the end of the year…”
The rest, as they say, is history.
New job for Szafnauer
While Szafnauer remained discreet about the specific team he will join next, he highlighted that many of the talented individuals he recruited for the future are still under contract with their current employers and won’t be available until 2024 or 2025.
This limitation, according to him, hindered the progress of development at Alpine. Using a peculiar analogy, he stressed the importance of patience when building a successful team, comparing it to the gestation period of a pregnancy.
He said: “The reality is that changes take time. I signed some good people from other teams, but they are still stuck in their contracts and won’t come until 2024 or 2025.
“You can’t really push development if people aren’t there. It takes time for people to come and it takes time for people to work together correctly. I always say you can’t get nine women pregnant and hope you have a baby in a month.
Despite the challenges faced during his tenure at Alpine, Szafnauer appears optimistic about the opportunities that lie ahead in his upcoming role.
Drama at the start 😮
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 30, 2023