Alpine boss breaks silence on risk of being fired after DNFs

Otmar Szafnauer, the Alpine team boss, has reacted to rumours he may be on the firing line after a horror show at the Hungarian GP.

Alpine team boss, Otmar Szafnauer, has denied that he may be set to lose his job after a disastrous showing for his team at the Hungarian GP.

A crash took Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly out of the race at the Hungaroring, with both receiving DNF results.

This comes hot on the heels of the Alpine pair receiving double DNF results at the British GP on July 9th.

These two awful results see the Renault-owned team slip down to sixth in the constructor’s standings.

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Szafnauer said: “We had no control over these two DNFs, just as we had no control over the Silverstone DNFs.

“One of them was a failure by a manufacturer that makes components for helicopters and airlines – an industry that rarely fails.

“But it failed. So we shouldn’t worry about these things, just focus on what we can control and do a good job.”

Alpine has been the source of speculation in recent weeks, with stories of ownership and management woes leaking to the press.

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Many now view Szafnauer’s role as team boss as untenable.

However, the Romanian remained defiant in light of these rumours.

He remarked: “You have to remember that Laurent Rossi is doing special projects now.”

The ex-Alpine CEO Rossi had criticised the team for its “amateurishness.” 

Renault recently replaced the outspoken Rossi with Phillipe Krief.

Speaking of Rossi, Szafnauer said: “Yes, he hired me, but (Renault CEO) Luca de Meo hired me too, and it was Luca who ultimately sat down with me and convinced me to join his project.

“As we know, Alpine’s project was with the plan of 100 races, and I think we’ve done about 30.

“So we still have about 60 races left. And it takes time. It’s taken time for everyone.

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“I know Luca is a man of his word, and he gave me his word of 100 races to start winning, and sometimes you have to take half a step back to take two forwards.”

The Alpine boss used Red Bull as an example of how long it can take to build a dominant, winning team.

He said: “Red Bull, who have done pretty well, bought Jaguar, a mid-grid team, and it took them five years to get started at winning.”