The surprising turn of events in recent days has caused an earthquake in Alpine. But the signing of Fernando Alonso by Aston Martin will not be effective until 2023, so the driver and the team will have to understand each other in the remaining 9 races.
It seems that the relationship between Fernando Alonso and Alpine, as an institution, was optimal. However, after the surprising signing of the Spanish driver by Aston Martin for 2023things may not be quite as good as both sides seemed.
And it is that it does not seem logical to think that what happened with Alonso – and that it also touched Oscar Piastri– originated exclusively in a disagreement over the duration of the Spaniard’s next contract.
But whatever the reasons, the truth is Fernando Alonso and Alpine will have to understand each other by the end of the season, as there are still nine races left in this year’s Formula 1 World Championship.
Otmar Szafnauer and his confidence in Alonso
This question was answered by Otmar Szafnauer, who attended a media panel after confirming the signing of Fernando Alonso by Aston Martin.
And, although it may come as a surprise to some, the Alpine team manager clearly expressed his belief that the double world champion will do his best for the good of the Anglo-French team.
“I have no worries for the rest of the season, the objective is clear.. We want to be fourth in the Constructors’ Championship because third is difficult,” Szafnauer said.
The Romanian engineer considers Fernando Alonso to be “a professional, a competitor, when he puts on his helmet he does it to the best of his abilities. On his head, there is nothing else when the visor of the helmet is down. I’m the same, I always want the best possible result.
Although Fernando Alonso is unlikely to remain involved in the development of the car this year and more importantly in 2023, Szafnauer is confident the Spanish driver will do everything possible to help the team out on the circuit.
“The improvements are coming very quickly, we have another one at Spa and we will continue to improve the car until the end of the year. Fernando understands this and will work as hard as Esteban to maximize the performance of the car.”concludes Szafnauer.
Alpine better than Aston Martin
The current Alpine director held the same position at Aston Martin and at Racing Point, an organization that preceded the one that now officially represents the British brand.
Last winter, disagreements with Lawrence Stroll linked to the signing of Martin Whitmarsh led to his departure and signing by Alpine, so Otmar Szafnauer knows both teams well.
And, how could it be otherwise, Szafnauer stresses that he is more confident in what Alpine can achieve than in what Aston Martin can offer Fernando Alonso during his new contract.
“I know both teams well, because I spent 12 years in the other, I know the people there even better than that one.. I know they signed some good people in December, apart from Dan Fallows from Red Bull and Eric Blandin from Mercedes,” admitted Szafnauer.
“I know what they are trying to do. Both teams have a lot of potential, but today Alpine is performing at a much higher level.. In the short term, we will be at this level or even better, there are projects to improve and win over 100 races,” said the director of Alpine.
“We have hired 75 additional people in strategic areas, and we have improved certain tools, such as the simulator. Hopefully we can do better than the team Fernando is going to during the time he’s going to be there.”he concluded.
Source: Car and driver
Pictures: Alpine F1 Team