Otmar Szafnauer Team Principal Alpine F1 during the Belgian GP, Spa-Francorchamps 27-30 July 2023 Formula 1 World championship 2023.

F1 News: Szafnauer hopes to return to Alpine-like role ‘soon’ (Update)

According to Motor Sport Magazine, Otmar Szafnauer could return to F1 with Andretti-Cadillac as the axed Alpine team boss is in talks with Michael Andretti.

“I have had some discussions with Michael Andretti, he had called me even before I went to Alpine, and I told him I’d love to help him,” American Szafnauer told the publication.

“They have to get the F1 entry first, because without an entry how can I help him? If they are accepted then I will be able to discuss getting involved, getting them started, getting them moving.”

He added: “I’d like to continue [in F1] but it’s got to be in a position where my experience, my skill sets, can be put to good use. I reckon I have another five to seven years in me.

“Maybe I have too high an opinion of myself… but I believe I still hold the skill sets to enable me to put a good team together to be competitive in F1. So that’s what I want to do.

“Right now, I have the desire, but I am biding my time while I cannot compete due to the provisions of my gardening leave. Pretty soon, [2024] hopefully, I can get back into the sport. Problem is, I am a little bit impatient.”

Andretti is moving ahead with plans to be on the F1 grid by 2026, assuming he will get the green light as part of the new 2026 Concorde Agreement.

Related Article: FOM dragging feet on Andretti so they miss 2025

Szafnauer applauded Andretti’s approach.

“Something I do know, from the early days at BAR, is that you cannot start from scratch and hire 900 people and expect to get that done in a year,” he said.

July 31, 2023 

(GMM) Ousted Alpine Formula 1 Team Principle Otmar Szafnauer says he hopes to return to F1 with a different team soon.

There is “fake news everywhere” in Formula 1 these days, according to departing Szafnauer.

Sunday in Belgium was the Romanian-born American’s last race in the paddock for now, as together with long-serving sporting director Alan Permane he has been ousted with immediate effect.

Otmar Szafnauer departs Alpine for the final time
At Spa, Otmar Szafnauer departs Alpine for the final time

And according to some, Szafnauer did not even wait around until the checkered flag before leaving the Spa-Francorchamps circuit on Sunday.

“That’s the beauty of Formula 1,” he sarcastically told Sky Deutschland when asked about that. “People just invent things. There’s fake news everywhere.

“I was here the whole time,” Szafnauer insists. “I was on the pit wall, helping with strategy decisions and ensuring we got some good points.”

Ultimately, only Esteban Ocon scored points with his eighth place.

“You need a lot of power on this track and we don’t have that at the moment,” Szafnauer said.

Szafnauer may have been so keen to deny the “fake news” about his premature departure because he now fully intends to try to return to F1 as soon as possible.

“What I’ll miss most is the competition,” said the 58-year-old. “I love fighting others – I’m a fighter.

“But I’ll also miss all the wonderful people I worked with at Alpine.”

It is believed part of Szafnauer’s severance is a non-competition clause for at least a year, meaning the earliest he can return is perhaps in 2025 [Just in time for the Andretti team first season].

When asked about the prospects of a comeback, he answered: “I can’t answer that right now.

“Hopefully, it will be soon and in an important role where I can have an impact on a team – where I can put together a great team. Everything I wanted to do at Alpine, but the time was too short.”

Fernando Alonso left Alpine to join Aston Martin this year, but when asked about the latest management chaos at the Renault-owned team he said at Spa-Francorchamps: “I haven’t really paid any attention to it.”

American Otmar Szafnauer departs Alpine for the final time. Might he be headed to the soon-to-be approved Andretti American F1 team?
American Otmar Szafnauer departs Alpine for the final time after Spa Sunday. Might he be headed to the soon-to-be approved Andretti American F1 team?
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