Formula 1

Alpine’s Otmar Szafnauer: “These hard moments are what brings the team closer together”

1 Mins read
Credit: BWT Alpine F1 Team

Otmar Szafnauer says it is important for the BWT Alpine F1 Team to take away the positives from the Australian Grand Prix weekend despite seeing both Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon crash out at the lap fifty-seven restart at Albert Park.

Gasly had been running inside the top five for much of the race and had shown pace similar to the likes of Scuderia Ferrari and the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team in the process, while Ocon had recovered from an early pit stop to run inside the points.

However, after the red flag for debris on the run down to turn three following Kevin Magnussen’s brush against the wall, a late restart saw chaotic scenes up and down the grid, and Gasly and Ocon found themselves on the same part of the track, the subsequent collision pushing them both into the wall.

Szafnauer, the Team Principal of the Enstone-based team, admits it is disappointing for Alpine to leave Australia without any points after a promising day, but they can be satisfied that they were involved in the battle for the big points for much of the afternoon.

“While it’s disappointing to leave here with zero points, we can be satisfied and positive with the performance of our car today,” said Szafnauer.  “We showed we can race with our close rivals ahead and, indeed, close cars down and be clinical when it counts.

“Pierre drove very well today, running much of the race in fifth place and in the fight for a podium alongside the Mercedes, Aston Martin and Ferrari. We must take the positives of this and use it as motivation going forwards.

“Esteban was certainly unfortunate with the sequence of events early in the race, but he did a good job to climb his way back into the points with some well-judged overtaking moves.

“It was unfortunate to have both our cars come together at the third standing start and I’m glad both drivers are OK given the nature of the incident. We’ll keep moving forwards and these hard moments are what brings the team closer together.

“We’re already looking forward to Baku where an upgrade is planned.”

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