Alpine has completed its restructuring process. As expected, ex-Aston Martin team boss Otmar Szafnauer will lead the Enstone team in the future. Bruno Famin heads drive development at the engine plant in Viry-Chatillon.
The Ferrari presentation was used several times on Thursday (February 17th) to hide unpleasant personnel messages. At the same time, the FIA announced the disempowerment of race director Michael Masi . Shortly thereafter, the completion of the restructuring at the management level was announced at Alpine. Accordingly, Otmar Szafnauer will be the new team boss at the French factory racing team based in Enstone, UK.
The interest in the American was already circulating as a rumor through the paddock last season. At the time, Szafnauer emphatically denied the change. When the 57-year-old then voluntarily left his post as team boss at Aston Martin, everything seemed to be going the way he expected. But Alpine didn't want to confirm the signing for a long time before the behind-the-scenes paperwork was done.
Now the new marriage has finally been officially announced. Just in time for the presentation of the new car. The Alpine A522 is to be unveiled in Paris on Monday evening – of course in the presence of the new team boss. Apparently, Szafnauer had used his good connections beforehand. With the native of Romania, sponsor BWT also switched from Aston Martin to Alpine.
"I'm thrilled to be joining the BWT Alpine F1 Team now. I'm ready to start working to meet our challenge. We want to fight for the championship with the team within the next 100 races," explained Szafnauer to take office. "My focus now is preparing for the start of the season in Bahrain. As one of only three automakers in Formula 1, Alpine has the ammunition to achieve the ambitious goals. I can't wait to start this journey."
Bruno Famin becomes the new head of engines
In addition to Szafnauer, a second important person was also announced: Bruno Famin, who had worked successfully as a sports director at Peugeot for a long time, will in future be in charge of drive development at the engine plant in Viry-Chatillon employed by the world association FIA
Famin is already looking forward to the new task: "It just feels great to be back on the side of the competition and even more so to tackle the whole thing together with Alpine. The goals are big, just like the development capacities. Viry-Chatillon is one of the best factories one can dream of. I can't wait to meet the big talents and work very closely with the teams in Enstone, Dieppe, Les Ulis and Boulogne-Billancourt.
With Szafnauer and Famin, Alpine Managing Director Laurent Rossi has the last two pieces of the jigsaw puzzle of his restructuring together. At the turn of the year, technical director Marcin Budkowski and team advisor Alain Prost had already been sorted out.
Sports director Davide Brivio also doesn't seem to play an important role in the plans anymore. The Italian, who was only signed shortly before the 2021 season, will be given a new role in which he is no longer involved in the day-to-day business of the F1 team. In the position of "Director of Racing Expansion Projects", Brivio will coordinate motorsport activities in the various racing series and also keep an eye on the promotion of young talent.