Otmar Szafnauer fires back at Fernando Alonso jibe

Fernando Alonso shocked Alpine by announcing his departure after the Hungarian Grand Prix last season, in order to move to Aston Martin.

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has hit back at comments made by former driver Fernando Alonso, with the Spaniard having stirred the pot by sharing that Aston Martin won’t be celebrating “until we win”.

Alonso’s comments are a result of him revealing that the Enstone-based side celebrated finishing fourth, something which saw them claim the top midfield spot.

The double World Champion seemingly isn’t a fan of celebrating anything other than victory, a mantra that perhaps he’s set to introduce at Aston Martin.

“Here, there will be no celebrations until we win,” Alonso said.

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Despite his comments, Szafnauer has revealed that Alonso was “happy” to celebrate finishing fourth with Alpine last season, with the Romanian-American having absolutely no issues at all with celebrating a stellar season.

“He was as happy as everybody else,” Szafnauer insisted.

“For us this year, we can get much closer to third than we were this year – and I’ll celebrate that too,” Szafnauer added.

Tensions were beginning to build between Alpine and Alonso ahead of his departure, with the 41-year-old having made some unnecessary comments at the Brazilian Grand Prix in particular.

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Regardless of his comments, though, the Spaniard brought unbeatable experience to Alpine, something they’ve somewhat lost with his departure.

Pierre Gasly, of course, has been brought into the team to replace him, with Szafnauer not currently missing his former driver.

“Not yet, actually. Ask me in a couple of months,” said the Alpine boss, when asked if he misses Alonso.

Alonso’s move to Aston Martin certainly raised a few eyebrows, given that the Silverstone-based team finished seventh in the standings last year, whilst Alpine finished fourth.

Aston Martin, though, are on the rise and are expected to be much closer to the likes of Alpine this season, with Szafnauer believing that only time will tell if Alonso made the right decision.

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“We’ll know in two or three weeks,” Szafnauer smiled.

“But for me, the teal test isn’t 2023, it’s 2024. That’s when they’ll have to come up with ideas for themselves rather than take them from Red Bull or Mercedes.

“That will be the real test,” he added.