Tensions mount between Alpine’s French and English employees

Alpine's French and English employees have reportedly refused to stay in the same hotel amid growing tensions.

It’s been reported that Alpine’s French and English employees aren’t on good terms, with the Enstone-based team continuing to find themselves in a “complicated and messy” situation.

Alpine have endured a turbulent season in which they have actually made two rostrum appearances, with off-circuit incidents having overshadowed their campaign so far.

It all really ignited at the Belgian Grand Prix, where Otmar Szafnauer was dramatically sacked as team principal, whilst long-serving employee Alan Permane was removed from his sporting director role and asked to leave.

Neither supposedly agreed with Alpine’s plans for the future, with Szafnauer having reportedly not viewed Alpine’s bosses’ targets as realistic.

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To try and settle the team’s situation, Renault CEO Luca de Meo held a video conference with the entire team, across their two bases in Enstone, UK, and Viry, France.

According to Motorsport-Total, De Meo announced that interim boss Bruno Famin had been given Szafnauer’s old position on a permanent basis, whilst he reassured the team that if they were prepared to work towards the future and forget about the side’s old way of doing things, then they’d retain their jobs.

However, it’s been reported by Last Word on Sports that Alpine’s current divide between their French and English employees is so vast that they refuse to stay in the same hotel on race weekends.

As well as this, they sit on different tables when eating and are in two clearly different groups.

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Former Ferrari and Williams team manager Peter Windsor is one of many who’s unsure on what exactly Alpine are trying to do currently, with him believing that Szafnauer wasn’t given “very long”.

“For me, it’s quite surprising that they’ve got rid of Otmar because he hasn’t been there very long,” Windsor said on his YouTube channel.

“As I said before, for me, he’s always been quite well integrated with BWT and I would have thought that, you know, that would have been a factor, but it’s obviously not.”

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Alpine’s new “regime” clearly has a very different way of doing things and are wanting the team to be fighting for victories; however, their approach so far has left the French side in a spot of bother both on and off the circuit.

“You know, the new regime apparently said that he was going to stay on as a team principal and then two weeks later [they] changed their mind,” Windsor added.

“So, it looks pretty…I don’t know if ‘not serious’ is the right way to describe it, but it looks very complicated and messy, doesn’t it?”