Otmar Szafnauer

F1: Rossi puts pressure on Otmar Szafnauer to perform or get axed

Alpine boss Laurent Rossi has warned the Renault-owned Formula One team he will make changes before the end of the season if performance does not improve.

“The team managed to get fourth [in 2022]. They have the means to get fourth, more so than others. I want them to be fourth. If they don’t, it’s going to be a failure,” Rossi told F1.

“If they fail by giving 500% best and turning this ship around, there will be extenuating circumstances and it bodes well for the future.

“If not, it’s the rule of business, there’s going to be consequences. And I won’t wait until the end of the year. The trajectory is not good. We need to fix the mindset of the team ASAP,” the Frenchman added.

“We started the season behind development targets,” Rossi said. “We were lacking performance compared to where we wanted to be to cement P4. We have made a lot of mistakes, too many mistakes, over the weekend.

“When you compound that relatively lower performance and lack of operational excellence, you end up in a difficult position.”

Those comments were aimed directly at team boss Otmar Szafnauer.

Otmar Szafnauer has downplayed Laurent Rossi’s “unacceptable” and “amateurish” criticism of Alpine’s early season form, the team boss saying he hasn’t yet discussed the CEO’s motivation for the public dressing down.

Laurent Rossi (FRA) Alpine Chief Executive Officer. Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Friday 3rd March 2023. Sakhir, Bahrain.
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