Alpine has finally confirmed the signing of former Aston Martin Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer, amidst a fortification of the team’s management structure led by CEO Laurent Rossi.

The re-structure also includes the hiring of former FIA Deputy Secretary General of Sport Bruno Famin to the position of Executive Director of Alpine Racing. He will be based in the team’s power unit manufacturing headquarters in Viry Chatillon, but reports to Rossi.

Whilst fulfilling his duties at Lawrence Stroll-owned Aston Martin in the latter stages of last season, Szafnauer strongly denied the rumours of his imminent departure, and deal with Alpine to replace the outgoing Marcin Budkowski.

His exit from the Silverstone-based outfit was announced last month and it had been somewhat inevitable since that he would be heading to Alpine to perform the same role. Crucially Szafnauer will be tasked with not only keeping the team’s performance at a high level, but managing and “helping the team get the best out of” race winner Esteban Ocon and two-time champion Fernando Alonso.

He previously worked with Ocon at his previous team under the guises of both Force India and Racing Point. “I am thrilled to join BWT Alpine F1 Team and ready to get to work with everyone to achieve our challenge: bring the team to fight for the Championship within the next 100 races,” stated Szafnauer in a statement for Alpine.

My attention is focused on preparing for the start of the season in Bahrain. As one of the three car manufacturers involved in Formula 1, Alpine is fully armed to achieve its ambition, I can’t wait to start the journey!”

Meanwhile, Famin added: “It’s great to be back in competition, and even greater to join Alpine, with such ambition and unique engineering capacities. Viry-Chatillon is among the greatest factories one could dream of. I can’t wait to join its amazing talents, and to work closely with the teams in Enstone, Dieppe, Les Ulis and Boulogne-Billancourt.”

Alpine CEO Rossi also added his thoughts on each of the high-profile signings for the team that he has led through a turbulent 12 months. “With Otmar and Bruno joining the team, we move to a new level for 2022,” he said. “Otmar will bring his unique experience in motorsports and his uncompromising desire to win, while Bruno’s proven track record in building technologies that make a difference in competition and their subsequent transference to road cars is critical for our project as a sports team and as a brand.

“Over the past year I have seen Davide’s talent to identify the best in people, and to make them perform as well as they can. I am delighted to utilise this unique skill across all existing Alpine assets and new ones we are just starting to explore. Our band of racers is complete and ready to bring the team towards its ambitious objectives in 2022.”

In charge of “identifying, developing and bringing to life projects around new opportunities”, the brand’s Director of Racing Expansion Projects, Davide Brivio, asserts his support for the team.

“Alpine’s band of racers is a key to its long-term performance, and I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to the exciting ambition to shape a new culture within racing that is responsible and inclusive,” said Brivio. “Formula 1 is a flagship, but we also need to develop our ambition in new territories, and I am ready to support Laurent Rossi towards this goal.”

The story was written by Danny Herbert

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