The Alpine news of the departure of their three main members during the Belgian GP had the whole F1 paddock speak about it.
The shock news from Alpine during the Belgian GP weekend raised eyebrows in the paddock certainly. They already replaced Laurent Rossi with Bruno Famin prior to the weekend, but announced wholesale changes during it.
They released its team principal Otmar Szafnauer from the his role along with veteran members Alan Permane and Pat Fry. The latter signed up with Williams already while the former two are yet to find a new role but are seemingly confident.
They both have been in the sport for long to find a new opportunity. In fact, Permane has been part of the Renault family for 34 years which has earned praise from several in the paddock. Even Szafnauer’s work has been praised by all.
Here’s what the F1 drivers and some team bosses said about the Alpine situation –
Gasly: “It’s kind of tricky for me to really comment on anything. I obviously just joined at the start of the year and it’s quite a big step when you come inside a new team and need to work with new people. And I must say from Laurent to Otmar to Alan, even Pat that I could see at the factory, they work in the best way and the best way possible. I think it was quite unfortunate that this season, at the minute, doesn’t work out as well as we expected it and we’re not making the progress that we will like, but yeah, for sure, it’s been kind of join and with all these changes happening, it’s quite a lot at the minute. But yeah, as I said, at the moment I can only thank all these guys: Laurent, Otmar, Alan and Pat for what they’ve done in the first six months and I just wish (them) the best for the future.. Personally, you know, I gotta focus on what I do on the track and try to bring the best I can from every single session. That’s what I’ve been focusing on, I think everyone’s disappointed with the start of the year.
“We didn’t perform straight from the start as well as we should have, and there haven’t really been the progress that we all would have liked. But obviously I’ve just joined six months ago, I don’t know what’s, you know, the past history and it’s quite a lot of changes also for me like just coming in the team and relying on new people and then all these changes, but yeah, it’s I think everybody needs to sit down and kind of process what’s happened and just refresh and start fresh in Zandvoort. I think everything’s quite fresh. Obviously like, sit down during the summer and go over all of that, but I mean we try to just stay focused on the job to do this weekend. And I’m glad we managed to get a trophy, even if it’s a small one. Like we managed to get a trophy in the sprint race for the last weekend of Alan and Otmar and Pat, and at least make some positive memories.”
Ocon: “I mean, you know, I wish them the best, you know, for the future. But obviously, yeah, I am completely focused on the job I have to do, and my job is to be, you know, the fastest behind the wheel I can be and that all I want to think of. Obviously, you know, Otmar, I’ve been working with him for many years. And I shared a lot of great moments with him and, as I said, I wish him the best for the future.
Alonso: “Obviously you never know that. You know, it would be nice to have a crystal ball and before you make a decision in switching teams you know the future, but yeah, you know, at the end I’m happy where I am, and there is a project here into the future and I’m very proud.”
Perez: “I think I was quite surprised with it, given how short notice it was. I think Otmar is great, any person in that position, you’ve got to give them time. And I think Otmar lacked time to really show his potential, which I know is huge because I’ve seen what he’s done in other teams with very limited budgets and with not so limited budgets as well. So I think that it’s a shame that they let him move on but yeah, I think on the other hand, whoever comes needs to have proper time because all these things in Formula 1 takes a massive time.”
Horner: “Look, I don’t really wants to be drawn into commenting about other teams. They obviously have their own decisions and their own reasons for making their changes. I think the only one I would highlight – I mean, Otmar is a good guy but – whilst I’ve never worked with Alan Permane, I think sometimes there has to be respect shown for somebody that’s put in 34 years of hard graft and been involved in World Championships with Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso and also been a steady hand during periods of that team going into administration, out of administration, into different ownership and so on. And he’s very much been a constant there during that period. I think that earns respect and recognition and I’m sure he’s a guy you know, as with Otmar, that won’t find themselves out of work, it won’t be the last you’ve seen of them in the pitlane, no doubt about that.”
Vasseur: “I don’t want to make any comment on what’s happened to Alpine, we already commented the story about the engine, and it’s far enough. I’ve known Pat and Otmar for a long time, they are professional, but I’m not into the team. I don’t want to make any judgement. I was a bit surprised with the sequence of this, because it could have been done on Monday.”
Wolff: “Alan Permane is one of the rocks of F1. He is one of the longest-standing senior engineers in the sport, and certainly someone with a lot of knowledge. I don’t know about the ins and outs of the management reshuffle there, but there is a lot of very respectable people in there. You shouldn’t discount anyone of that seniority.”
Krack: “I think I mean, it is certainly very important to have a stable team and especially if you want to develop a team. You’re not changing every team every five minutes but I’m now a bit worried you asked me this because this was also asked to Otmar last week. Obviously, the decision that Alpine has taken we have to respect. Certainly we lose two respected personalities in the paddock. I don’t think either that we will have lost them. Maybe it’s just a short break.”
Here’s Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly on F1 Belgian GP
Here’s news from Alpine