Alpine F1 team principal Otmar Szafnauer says the arrival of Pierre Gasly as Esteban Ocon’s teammate in 2023 is “better” than originally planned.
The Alpine F1 team lost Fernando Alonso, who thought he could extend his contract, to Aston Martin, and Oscar Piastri, who thought he could use him instead, escaped to McLaren.
“I’m happy because Esteban and Pierre[Gasly]have a better line-up than if they won[Piastri’s]lawsuit,” Otmar Szafnauer told AS.
But Otmar Szafnauer was asked if it would have been better if Fernando Alonso stayed with Esteban Ocon.
“Good question,” replied Otmar Szafnauer.
“We had a great driver line-up this year. Fernando did a great job and he’s still super fast.”
“I’m happy with the line-up, but if you ask me next year, I’ll answer.”
At first glance, 41-year-old Fernando Alonso leaves the Alpine F1 team frustrated in a year filled with crumbling credibility.
Despite this, Fernando Alonso, who stood next to Esteban Ocon at a fan event in Abu Dhabi, said he misses the team.
“You’re lying!” Esteban Ocon joked. “He said he would be happy to go!”
Fernando Alonso said: “Okay, I’m happy to be out, but at the same time I’m sad. I hope next year I can be in a more competitive car.”
Osmar Szafnauer has not denied Fernando Alonso is unhappy with Alpine’s reliability record for 2022.
“Yes, of course he had more injuries than Esteban. We know that, and we know when he could have scored good points. No,” said Otmar Szafnauer.
“But even without Fernando’s problems, we would have been fourth in the Constructors’ Championship. That is the target and we have achieved it.”
“Fourth place was the best we could do this year, so the decision to sacrifice reliability and pursue engine performance was the right one.”
“The car has been slightly changed so it will be a good base for next year. Even though the floor has changed a lot, it’s basically the same.”