Sergio Perez ‘shocked’ by announcement

Sergio Perez has been struggling at Red Bull since the 2023 Miami GP, allowing Max Verstappen to open up a huge championship lead.

Sergio Perez has added his perspective to the recent shifts in Alpine’s management. 

The Mexican driver voiced his disappointment at the decision to part ways with Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer, characterising it as a regrettable development for the French outfit, who have struggled in 2023.

Szafnauer assumed the role of Team Principal at Alpine at the commencement of the 2022 season, following his departure from a similar position at Aston Martin a few months earlier. 

However, the racing community was taken by surprise when it was announced prior to the Belgian Grand Prix that both Szafnauer and Sporting Director Alan Permane were stepping down from their roles at Alpine.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

Having previously worked with Szafnauer during their time at Force India and Racing Point, Perez admitted his astonishment at the abruptness of Szafnauer’s exit from Alpine. 

Perez stated, “I think I was quite surprised with it, given how short notice it was. 

“I think Otmar is great, any person in that position, you’ve got to give them time. 

“And I think Otmar lacked time to really show his potential, which I know is huge.”

Article continues below

Perez went on to highlight Szafnauer’s track record of success in managing teams with varying budgets, emphasising his belief that the decision to let Szafnauer go was unfortunate. 

He remarked, “I’ve seen what he’s done in other teams with very limited budgets and with not so limited budgets as well. 

“So, I think that it’s a shame that they let him move on. 

“But yeah, I think on the other hand, whoever comes needs to have proper time because all these things in Formula 1 takes massive time.”

While discussing Perez’s recent performance resurgence, attention turned to his return to form after securing podium finishes in Belgium and Hungary. 

Prior to this, Perez had encountered challenges, failing to secure top-three finishes in four out of five previous Grands Prix, with the sole exception being his third-place finish in Austria.

Reflecting on his recent racing performances, Perez expressed, “Yeah, I’ve certainly had a rough patch with the car and with my driving style. 

“I’ve been working on it. 

“And you know, it’s no different to any other driver out there. 

“I think drivers, we go through these periods where we are just finding our sweet spot. 

“It has happened to anyone. 

“But yeah, it’s a long season.”

Perez underlined his determination to reclaim his season’s momentum and acknowledged the long road ahead. 

READ: Source makes huge claim about Shakira and Lewis Hamilton

He stated, “And like I always say, people only remember where you finished in Abu Dhabi. 

“So, for me, it’s still a very long season ahead. 

“I want to get my season back on track, but I know, and I’ve done it before, so I think we are heading in the right direction.”