Martin Brundle on Mattia Binotto joining Alpine

Team principal Otmar Szafnauer and sporting director Alan Permane were both sacked by Alpine during the Belgian GP last weekend.

Ex-Formula 1 driver turned pundit Martin Brundle has admitted that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if former Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto joins Alpine, following the shock departure of Otmar Szafnauer.

Ahead of qualifying at the Belgian Grand Prix last weekend, Alpine announced that both Szafnauer and sporting director Alan Permane had been sacked and would leave after Spa-Francorchamps.

Szafnauer was actually spotted leaving the circuit on Sunday before the race even got underway, with his replacement perhaps already been decided.

There’s been a rumour that Binotto is set to move to the Enstone-based team, with him having been without a job since leaving Ferrari at the end of 2022.

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Brundle revealed that he’d “heard” the Binotto rumour, and that a switch to Alpine wouldn’t come as a shock to him.

“I’ve heard the same rumour,” Brundle said on Sky Sports F1.

“This is a funny old place as you know, you can start a rumour just for fun and see how quickly it comes back to you as fact. But it’s not out of the question.

“Binotto has got a lot of experience, obviously in the Ferrari system, and knows about running a Formula 1 team.

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“Obviously, it didn’t work out for him at Ferrari otherwise he’d still be there. But I wouldn’t be surprised if that was announced, no.”

It’s been a funny 18 months or so for Alpine, who are quickly losing several high-profile personnel.

Just in the last eight months, Alpine have lost Szafnauer, Permane, Fernando Alonso, Oscar Piastri and Laurent Rossi, although the latter has simply been moved to another position.

There is clearly a lot of change going on at the French team, who are keen to progress.

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“Alain Prost left the team, they lost [Fernando] Alonso and they lost access to [Oscar] Piastri. Now Szafnauer,” Brundle added.

“Alan Permane, who is a man I would, whatever I was doing in F1, I would want him, I’d give him a job. Fantastic guy. He was there when I drove for Benetton.

“So, yeah, it almost looks like, ‘last one out, switch the lights off’. But clearly, they must have other people coming in to do these various roles and the list goes on.”