Christian Horner hits out at Alpine for ‘disrespect’

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has fired a shot at Alpine ahead of the 2023 Dutch GP.

Christian Horner has expressed his belief that Alan Permane deserved greater respect following his 34 years with the Enstone outfit before being dismissed this week.

Permane has been a fixture in the F1 paddock for over three decades, having first joined the sport in 1989 as a test electronics engineer for Benetton.

The engineer endured through multiple ownership and name changes until last week, when the Alpine bosses finally decided to part ways with him, along with team boss Otmar Szafnauer.

Horner, who himself has spent close to two decades in the sport, stated that respect should be accorded to someone who has remained loyal to the Enstone team through various challenges.

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“I don’t really want to be drawn into commenting about other teams,” he informed the media. “They obviously have their own decisions and their own reasons for making their changes.

“I think the only one I would highlight, Otmar is a good chap, but I think whilst I’ve never worked with Alan Permane or Bat as he is more commonly known up and down the pitlane, I think sometimes there has to be respect shown for somebody who has dedicated 34 years of hard work.

“[He has] been a part of World Championships with Michael Schumacher, with Fernando Alonso, and also been a stable presence during times when the team was on the brink of administration, transitioning between different ownership, and so on.

“He’s very much been a consistent figure during that period, and I think that warrants respect and recognition. I’m certain he’s a guy, along with Otmar, who will find work. Absolutely won’t be the last time you see them in the pit lane. No doubt about that.”

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While Permane has kept silent since his departure, Szafnauer has spoken out.

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Szafnauer disclosed that the split was indeed mutual, and was ultimately down to differing opinions on how quickly certain goals could be achieved.

“It was definitely mutual,” he stated. “I explained the timelines as to how long it takes in F1 to effect change.

“You know, it’s not a football team — it’s only two [drivers] and 998 technicians, engineers, and aerodynamicists, and to change a culture takes time. The timeline wasn’t accepted by the bosses of Renault — they wanted it quicker, and that’s what we disagreed upon. So, yes, mutual.”