NOVEMBER 11, 2021
Aston Martin's Szafnauer linked with Alpine move
Otmar Szafnauer looks set to leave Aston Martin.
Rumours in the past few days indicated the 57-year-old, the current team principal who also had leading roles in the team's Racing Point and Force India guises, might be replaced by new Aston Martin recruit Martin Whitmarsh.
Whitmarsh, the long-time top McLaren official, is just part of a major influx of personnel under Lawrence Stroll's ownership of the Silverstone based team.
"When Stroll bought the team, he brought in a new movement," former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher is quoted by Sport1.
"But I've said it before - you can't make a tiger out of a cow overnight. There is just too much unrest there.
"And in my opinion, the Martin Whitmarsh and Otmar Szafnauer duo would not work at all."
Sebastian Vettel has attracted attention for failing to overly shine in green since leaving Ferrari last year, but Schumacher says the situation isn't the German's fault.
"Aston Martin needed a top-class driver and Sebastian is now the better and more consistent of them," he said, alluding also to Vettel's teammate Lance Stroll.
"It's just that the team isn't doing what it's supposed to be doing. New people were hired and the resulting unrest may no longer be the right environment for Szafnauer."
It is believed Szafnauer, who according to sources already shared a tense relationship with Lawrence Stroll, may now be snapped up by Alpine - whose Davide Brivio is believed to be on the cusp of returning to MotoGP.
"I look at everything from top to bottom and from right to left," said Renault-owned Alpine's CEO Laurent Rossi.
"We are currently part of the 'best of the rest', but to really catch up with the very best, we may need a different structure," he admitted.