Beginning in July, Alpine initiated significant changes, including shifting the outspoken CEO, Laurent Rossi, to focus on special projects, displacing him from his primary role.
Furthermore, ahead of the Spa weekend on Friday, it was revealed that team principal Otmar Szafnauer, who was in charge for a period of 18 months, and sporting director Alan Permane, a 34-year veteran from Enstone, would depart after the race.
In the meantime, Pat Fry, the chief technical director, transferred to the Williams project spearheaded by James Vowles.
Szafnauer’s and Permane’s exits are primarily attributed to their adherence to Alpine’s long-term 100-race strategy for success rather than proposing a more expedited timeline.
In the midst of the turmoil, Gasly moved up from sixth to third in a rain-interrupted and shortened Saturday sprint, successfully keeping at bay Lewis Hamilton’s pursuing Mercedes W14.
Gasly believed that this outcome could potentially be a turning point for Alpine. He commented, “The team has been exceptionally busy over the past few weeks.
I only joined at the beginning of the year, and it’s a significant leap when you enter a new team and have to collaborate with new colleagues.
I have to say, everyone from Laurent to Otmar to Alan, including Pat whom I met at the factory, has been working optimally.
Pierre Gasly, Alpine A523, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23
Photo by: Steven Tee / F1 Flow Images
“Unfortunately, the season isn’t unfolding as we had hoped, and we aren’t progressing as we would have liked.
With all these ongoing changes, it’s quite overwhelming currently. I can only express gratitude to these gentlemen and wish them the very best for the future.”
This top-three achievement followed a second double retirement for Alpine in the season, involving Gasly and Esteban Ocon in a collision at the Hungarian GP’s first corner.
Gasly noted the main takeaway was the morale boost within the team: “The most important aspect for me is the influence it has on the team internally, more than the podium itself.
It’s a sprint race. It surely feels good and comes with a small trophy, but it doesn’t quite match the experience of standing on the podium. Still, we’ll take it. I’m truly delighted for the team and the uplifting mood in the garage.”
Prost “heartbroken and troubled” by Alpine F1’s “massive blunder”
A disorganized team or a grand strategy? What’s happening at Alpine F1
Alpine F1 team experiencing “pain and difficulties” – Vowles
Gasly also mentioned the added significance of achieving this at Spa, where the tragic FIA F2 crash occurred that claimed his friend, Anthoine Hubert’s life. This made the turning point more poignant.
He stated, “It’s been a challenging season, really unfortunate so far, and having these turning points here in Spa, given the history and incidents in previous years for me, it definitely holds a deeper significance. I’m extremely pleased to have achieved this here.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Alpine’s turning point
What changes have recently occurred at the Alpine F1 team?
Alpine F1 has undergone significant changes, including CEO Laurent Rossi being moved to work on “special projects”. Team principal Otmar Szafnauer and sporting director Alan Permane were announced to be leaving after the Spa weekend race. In addition, chief technical director Pat Fry moved to James Vowles’ Williams project.
Why are Otmar Szafnauer and Alan Permane leaving Alpine F1?
Otmar Szafnauer and Alan Permane’s departures are primarily due to their adherence to Alpine’s long-term 100-race plan for success rather than proposing a more expedited timeline.
How has Pierre Gasly performed at Alpine F1?
Pierre Gasly performed admirably during the Spa weekend, moving from sixth to third in a rain-interrupted and shortened Saturday sprint, keeping Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes W14 at bay. He believes this result could be a turning point for the team.
What was the key takeaway from Gasly’s performance at the Spa weekend?
Gasly noted that the main takeaway was the morale boost within the team. Despite it being a sprint race and not resulting in standing on the podium, the performance lifted the spirits in the garage, which he believes is more important.
What significant incident did Gasly refer to that took place at Spa?
Gasly referred to a tragic FIA F2 crash that occurred at Spa, which claimed the life of his friend Anthoine Hubert. Achieving a turning point at the same venue brought deeper significance and satisfaction to Gasly.