Alpine appoints Otmar Szafnauer as Team Principal amid structural changes

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Ahead of the 2022 F1 season, BWT Alpine F1 Team has announced a series of changes to its structure by confirming the appointment of Otmar Szafnauer to the role of Team Principal and Bruno Famin as Executive Director of Alpine Racing in Viry-Châtillon, both reporting to Laurent Rossi, CEO of Alpine.

The duo will report to CEO Laurent Rossi, who took over the running of the team last January and defined the team's ambition as being able to fight for the championship within 100 races of the introduction of the new regulations.

As Team Principal, Otmar Szafnauer will lead BWT Alpine F1 Team in Enstone and at the races over the season. Szafnauer will bring his 33 years of experience in motorsport to the team. The Romanian-American began his career as an engineer with Ford Motor Company, and arrived in F1 in 1998 with British American Racing as Operations Director. He then joined Honda as Vice President of its F1 programme.

At Force India, he led the team from last in the Constructors’ Championship to a solid fourth position, despite having the lowest budget and number of employees in the paddock. He also led Racing Point to their first win and fourth position in the Constructors’ Championship in only their second season, and Aston Martin to their first-ever podium in F1.

Bruno Famin will oversee the development of Alpine’s Formula 1 engine, and will also contribute to the transfers of technologies from Formula 1 to Alpine cars.

Most recently Deputy Sport Secretary-General at the FIA, Famin showed his talent over more than 15 years at Peugeot, where he led the Endurance team’s technical programme, culminating in the Peugeot 908 victory in Le Mans in 2009, and 24 victories over 32 races, before he became Director of Peugeot Sport in 2012. Tasked with relaunching Peugeot’s sports programme, he proved his talent to develop cutting-edge technologies to drive cars towards victory, leading to a record at Pike’s Peak in 2013, a Teams’ World Championship in Rallycross in 2015, and three consecutive victories in the Dakar between 2016 and 2018. He also oversaw Peugeot’s sports vehicle conception, proving his capacity to bring performance-driven technologies, initially designed for competition, to production vehicles.

Davide Brivio, who joined the team in 2021, will continue his endevaour at the Enstone based outfit. The Italian will work as Director of Racing Expansion Projects, overseeing participation in all racing categories, including the Alpine Academy. Within his mission Brivio will also be in charge of identifying, developing and bringing to life projects around new opportunities for Alpine within the world of motorsport and to explore new territories to foster Alpine’s development in the sport.

“With Otmar and Bruno joining the team, we move to a new level for 2022,” said Rossi. “Otmar will bring his unique experience in motorsports and his uncompromising desire to win, while Bruno’s proven track record in building technologies that make a difference in competition and their subsequent transference to road cars is critical for our project as a sports team and as a brand.

“Over the past year I have seen Davide’s talent to identify the best in people, and to make them perform as well as they can. I am delighted to utilize this unique skill across all existing Alpine assets and new ones we are just starting to explore. Our band of racers is complete and ready to bring the team towards its ambitious objectives in 2022.”

Szafnauer said: “I am thrilled to join BWT Alpine F1 Team and ready to get to work with everyone to achieve our challenge: bring the team to fight for the Championship within the next 100 races. My attention is focused on preparing for the start of the season in Bahrain. As one of the three car manufacturers involved in Formula 1, Alpine is fully armed to achieve its ambition, I can’t wait to start the journey!”

Famin added: “It’s great to be back in competition, and even greater to join Alpine, with such ambition and unique engineering capacities. Viry-Châtillon is among the greatest factories one could dream of, I can’t wait to join its amazing talents, and to work closely with the teams in Enstone, Dieppe and Boulogne-Billancourt.”

Brivio said: “Alpine’s band of racers is a key to its long-term performance, and I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to the exciting ambition to shape a new culture within racing that is responsible and inclusive. Formula 1 is a flagship, but we also need to develop our ambition in new territories, and I am ready to support Laurent Rossi towards this goal.”