Does This Latest News All But Confirms Ex-Aston Martin F1 Boss Otmar Szafnauer’s Move to Alpine?

Published 01/14/2022, 1:21 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 16, 2021 Aston Martin team principal and chief executive officer Otmar Szafnauer during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


A lot has happened in Formula One over the past few weeks. Otmar Szafnauer, one of the most dependable team F1 principals, acknowledged his departure from Aston Martin, now led by Lawrence Stroll.

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Only a few days later, Marcin Budkowski, who gained promotion as Alpine Racing team’s director in January 2021, gave up his role with immediate effect. Hence, there is now a massive void in both Aston Martin and Alpine, with neither looking keen on announcing the respective replacements anytime soon.

Owner of Racing Point Lawrence Stroll and Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Racing Point talk in the Paddock before the F1 Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

Hence, amidst the silence, rumors have started to develop around who could be Alpine’s next director. And quite interestingly, Szafnauer has turned up to be the most mentioned name. Of course, he could well be a reasonable option for Alpine, considering how he managed to rev up Force India’s performance level with each passing year.

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After joining the Indian outfit in 2009, Szafnauer’s work was quite evident as the team continued to evolve, and they eventually hit an unimaginable peak in 2020, securing multiple podiums, a pole position, and a race victory.

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Who will be the interim F1 director of Alpine?

In a temporary move, Alpine have chosen to replace Budkowski with Laurent Rossi, the team’s Chief Executive Officer. Simultaneously, the French outfit will continue to look for a replacement and Szafnauer’s availability only widens their range of options.

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I truly enjoyed being part of the leadership team of Renault, then known as Alpine F1 team. I have been able to work with such a talented and dedicated group of people. I will be watching the team’s progress fondly in the seasons to come,” Budkowski said following his resignation.

Formula One F1 – Qatar Grand Prix – Losail International Circuit, Lusail, Qatar – November 20, 2021 Alpine’s Esteban Ocon during qualifying REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/Pool

Meanwhile, for Aston Martin, rumors are swirling around that their recent signing, Martin Whitmarsh, could well become Szafnauer’s successor. As of now, the 63-year-old is serving as Aston Martin’s chief executive officer.

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However, considering his multiple roles at McLaren prior to the Aston Martin move, it is obvious that he is capable of operating as both the CEO and the team principal of Aston Martin. So, amidst the ever-lasting theories, who are going to fill the voids prevailing within the two mid-field teams?

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Rohit Kumar

1641 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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