Alpine has confirmed the reports of the departure of Otmar Szafnauer, Alan Permane and Pat Fry from its F1 team.
In a big move from Alpine, the French manufacturer announced the departure of its team boss Szafnauer along with Sporting Director Permane and Chief Technical Officer Fry from their respective roles during the 2023 Belgian GP weekend.
The axe comes after Alpine removed Laurent Rossi from his role to Special Projects with Phillipe Krief taking his place. The Belgian GP will be the last for Szafnauer and Permane, with no clear date mentioned for when Fry left the outfit.
Post the release from Alpine, Fry has been named as the Chief Technical Officer at Williams. He will start his work from November 1 of 2023 season as it becomes his sixth outfit in F1 after Benetton, Ferrari, McLaren, Manor and Renault.
As for Szafnauer and Perman’s replacements, Alpine named Bruno Famin as the interim team principal from the Dutch GP onward while Julian Rouse will rise up to be the interim Sporting Director. Matt Harman will remain as the technical incharge at Enstone.
“Otmar will continue his duties as normal for this weekend’s race in Belgium, before leaving the team ahead of the summer break,” said a statement from Alpine. “The team would like to thank Otmar for his hard work over the past 18 months and for leading the team in achieving fourth place in the 2022 Constructors’ Championship. The team wishes him the best for the future.
“The team can also confirm it will part ways with Sporting Director Alan Permane by mutual agreement. Alan will also continue his role this weekend in Belgium before departing ahead of the summer break. After 34 distinguished years at Enstone, the team extends its thanks to Alan and wishes him the best in his future endeavours.
“The team also announces that Pat Fry will leave the team to continue his career in Formula 1 elsewhere. Bruno Famin, VP, Alpine Motorsports, will assume the role of Interim Team Principal of BWT Alpine F1 Team from the Dutch Grand Prix onwards. Current Alpine Academy Director Julian Rouse is named Interim Sporting Director, with Matt Harman leading the technical team at Enstone. Both Julian and Matt will report to Bruno Famin.”
Talking about the hiring of Fry, Williams team boss James Vowles said: “On behalf of all at Williams Racing, I’m delighted to be welcoming Pat. His knowledge and experience will further strengthen the team’s technical capabilities and pursuit of excellence as we build the next chapter of Williams. Pat has been a core part of winning teams throughout his career, he is one of the most respected experts in our industry and I’m excited to begin work with him when he joins in November.”
At the same time, Fry added: “I am thrilled to be joining Williams Racing as Chief Technical Officer. The team has a rich heritage in Formula 1, and I am excited to contribute to its future success. I believe in the team’s potential and, together, we will strive for excellence on and off the track.”
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