Bruno Famin expands on the decisions taken with the removal of key Alpine F1 personals and the idea going forward.
The wholesale changes at Alpine came at a time when things aren’t going well for the French manufacturer in the season. They fell behind Aston Martin and in the last few races, even McLaren overtook them with their podium results.
Granted Alpine had some results which didn’t got their way but they haven’t looked as promising or daunting as Aston Martin and McLaren have. This slow run forced the Renault management to make another set of changes removing key personals.
While Laurent Rossi was moved to Special Projects, the likes of Otmar Szafnauer, Alan Permane and Pat Fry were phased out where Famin has been named as an interim head. He notes the decision to be mutual but it is more towards differences in timeline.
While Szafnauer wanted a longer run to extract the most, the Alpine management is looking for results at a quicker pace. Famin tried to expand on the reasons behind the changes and expectations, but still things remain unclear.
Idea behind it and reasoning –
Famin: “At Alpine we have a fascinating project, Alpine as a brand. Two weeks we launched phase two of that project with a very ambitious plan for new road cars, for expansion and so on. What is really super-interesting for all of us is that project is based on motorsport, motorsport programmes. The key one, of course, is Formula One, not only but that’s it. It’s really a great challenge to be part of this project. So, after the phase two of the brand, we are going to the phase two of the Formula 1 project. We have ambition as well, and we have decided to make some changes in order to go faster in reaching the level of performance we are aiming for.
“I think with Otmar and with Alan – it’s the same with Alan Permane, it’s the same that means they are great people, we really thank them for all what they brought to the team, for a very long time for Alan, 34 years in Enstone. More recently with Otmar but he secured the fourth place on the Championship last year which was a good achievement, but we were not on the same line on how… on the timeline to recover the level… or to reach the level of performance we are aiming for. Mutually we agreed to split our ways, and that’s it.”
Your interim role –
Famin: “I’ve just been appointed two weeks ago as a vice president, motorsport at Alpine. Of course, we have been discussing that topic with the top management for weeks and now I will really assess with the whole teams, what is the real situation and what will be the plan then. I will take the necessary time to do this assessment and we will decide later on.”
How the decision came about –
Famin: “We decided together with Alan and Otmar to split our ways. It’s a mutual agreement, first. So, on maybe the last one, because I don’t remember the middle one. The reshuffle of the team it’s a decision of the top management of course. So it’s not something which has been decided from one day to another and we have been talking for a week. And it’s not because I have been appointed, two weeks ago, Vice President Motosport that I started working two weeks ago. And it’s already quite a long story and I’m working on it with the top management.”
Agreement on recovery time –
Famin: “I think we are not talking about figures. I think we have a different view of the way of doing it and, of course, it’s true also in terms of timeline, but I think we are not exactly the same in doing the things. We have been discussing for a while about what we needed to do on the timeline for the evolution we required in Alpine F1 teams and we discussed, we are confident it can make it. On that one stage you realise that we are not on the same paths and then we decide to split ways.”
How can changes make things different –
Famin: “What is important to us is the project. I think we have a clear project, a clear objective and it’s not only the Formula 1 team that has a strategy, it’s the full brand, and both are totally linked. I’m confident that we will make it work. I don’t know what happened before. I think, as I said, we are now launching phase two of the Alpine project, phase one started in ‘21. We improved a lot of things in Enstone and in Viry, we are moving the team forward and we will continue doing that.”
Things going forward, Mattia Binotto –
Famin: “What is happening is the second stage of the Alpine rocket, if I may say. It’s not going backwards, it’s moving forwards. Of course, it’s a lot of change. But it’s an opportunity also, to have a new foundation, or to consolidate the foundation and to go farther and faster. The key objective is the one I mentioned recently: we need to win, we aim for winning races and championships as soon as possible. We need to constantly improve our cars, the full package, from race to race, from year to year. And we know that it’s not easy.
“We know that the change of regulation is generally a good milestone for changing the ranking. And I think it’s quite a reasonable target, but it will not be a step, it’s improving constantly up to that. Regarding replacements, we’re not at that stage. I think I’m going to, with all my direct reports, assess what is the situation, think about what are the priorities in Enstone, to consolidate the things and we will define if we need a new structure or not and when that will be done, we will see.
Famin: “The expectations. This one, I got it. The expectations are to be able to fight for wins and for titles as soon as possible. Of course, the way is going to be a bit long, but the expectations are those ones. The top teams are super strong. Everybody has more or less the same objective, and we know it’s going to be difficult, but our expectations are those ones, really to fight for titles. And then that means for wins and then we are going to be focused on that.”
Here’s what the F1 paddock said about it
Here’s Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly on F1 Belgian GP
Here’s news from Alpine