The Aston Martin team is rumored to have lost its team principal Otmar Szafnauer to the Alpine F1 team. However, both teams have refused to comment or officially confirm the move. If the grapevine is to be believed, the question remains as to who will replace the Canadian in the Silverstone team.
Speculation indicates that an organizational restructuring at the French outfit and rumors of their current Racing Director David Brivio returning to MotoGP have triggered the grapevine of Szafnuer being the replacement.
An Alpine spokesperson refused to comment on the matter to Motorsport Network, saying,
“These are rumors that we are not going to comment on.”
The Aston Martin counterpart reverberated in a similar tone, saying,
“It’s speculative conjecture. We couldn’t comment on it therefore.”
Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer is rumored to replace David Brivio at Alpine
While both teams refused to comment, the grapevine nevertheless suggests that if Aston Martin does lose Szafneuer to Alpine, it will unsettle the structure at the Silverstone outfit until they find a replacement.
Szfnauer’s departure has triggered further speculation suggesting that Martin Whitmarsh could be his replacement. Given the speculation, the former McLaren team principal, who has joined the Silverstone outfit in an advisory capacity and has been present at a few races, could be the obvious replacement.
On the other hand, Brivio’s departure is also mere speculation at the moment, as rumors suggest that Szafnauer could replace him. This shuffle of key F1 personnel is always a factor in how a team functions, and losing key figures can impact a team structure severely.
Szafnauer has been an integral part of the Silverstone squad since it was badged as Force India, and he was instrumental in its transition to Racing Point. Since Lawrence Stroll bought Force India, the Canadian team principal has played a key role in sustaining its team structure and running it under the Aston Martin badge.
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French publication Auto Hebdo was the first to report on Szafnauer’s association with the Alpine team, and the Motorsport Network followed them soon after. Despite Alpine and Aston Martin’s refusal to comment on the matter, this will be a developing story line over the Brazilian race weekend and through to Qatar.