New Alpine F1 boss denies he will replace Szafnauer
"Only his boss changes but his function remains"
The new vice president of Alpine’s racing programs has denied he will effectively replace current Formula 1 team boss Otmar Szafnauer.
Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi recently launched a blistering attack on the Enstone and Viry-based team’s progress in 2023 - shortly before selling 24 percent of the team to a US-based investor group.
In his attack, Rossi singled out new-in-2022 team boss Szafnauer as having responsibility for Alpine’s sluggish progress - and now former FIA official Bruno Famin has been put in a position that reports not to Szafnauer, but directly to Rossi.
When asked about his promotion, Famin said Rossi’s goal is to "free up time" by delegating the entire motorsport portfolio.
As for whether it disempowers Szafnauer, he told L’Equipe: "It doesn’t change anything for him.
"He is the team principal of the team. Only his boss changes but his function remains."
Famin also denied that his move is to specifically address Alpine’s struggles in F1.
"No," the Frenchman added. "We’ve been discussing this with Laurent for some time. It’s not in reaction to anything.
"It’s just the normal evolution of the brand structure," Famin said.
At the same time, he acknowledges that Alpine’s difficulties in F1 add to the pressure of his new role.
"The pressure, there is always some," he said. "But you have to be sure that it is good pressure, not bad. But for me, it’s good, I like working under pressure."
Famin continued: "Even if all of our projects are important, F1 remains the priority program because its impact is much greater than all the other disciplines.
"There is a lot to do in Formula 1 so it will be quite logical that I devote the most time to it."
He also acknowledged that the recent shakeups at Alpine will be no silver bullet in terms of achieving the team’s ultimate goal - race wins and the title.
"If there was a recipe for winning races, everyone would know it and everyone would apply it," said Famin. "It’s also a question of time - it doesn’t happen overnight."
One slight tweak is that Alpine’s earlier 100-race target for regularly winning races may have now been scrapped by Famin.
"In F1, we know where we are and we know where we want to go with high ambitions. But we don’t say ’We want to be world champions in such a such a year’, because it’s a fragile statement," he said.
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