Alpine F1 CEO: “People who don’t work must leave”

Jaden Diaz
10 Sep, 2023

Alpine CEO Luca de Meo is unhappy with his team’s results in 2023, informing the decision to replace Otmar Szafnauer and Alan Permane earlier this season. De Meo explains the reasoning for this “brutal” firings in late July.

Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly were visibly excited when the A523 was launched in February. The former even described last year’s car as a “toy” compared to the newly constructed challenger.

Technical director Matt Harmon was also confident, revealing that work on this year’s car began at the end of 2021.

With a competitive albeit unreliable challenger last year, the French outfit seemed well-positioned to take a step forward and finally become established as a front-runner.

Frustratingly, for Otmar Szafnauer and his colleagues, this did not happen. Instead, Alpine saw rivals Aston Martin and former driver Fernando Alonso catapult themselves to the front – shining a spotlight on their own stagnation.

Lance Stroll (CDN), Aston Martin F1 Team and Pierre Gasly (FRA), Alpine F1 Team
09.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 11, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England, Race Day.
– www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Charniaux / XPB Images

Speaking with it.motorsport.com, Luca de Meo outlined the reasoning behind the series of firings earlier this year:

“It seemed like a brutal action, and it was, but we are behind what we set ourselves as goals.

“Not that I forced them to set targets, but they set them themselves: they communicated them, and this didn’t work because we didn’t have the right trajectory

“You have to work on it. You can’t close the box and then talk about it again after five years. We are aware of this – we theoretically have the resources to do well with a team that is quite well-financed.

“People who don’t work must leave the F1 system. This is high-level competition.”

De Meo seems to be unofficially ending the “five-year plan” that was set into motion a few years ago.

Actually, Alpine (then known as Renault) also set a five-year plan when they returned to F1 in 2016. These timelines were not only ineffective but also operated under some fundamentally incorrect assumptions.

Excuses for mediocrity will no longer be accepted, and there will be pressure on Alpine to deliver results. Not to be achieved in three or five years – but next season.

Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang

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