Otmar Szafnauer should have been given more time to succeed at the BWT Alpine F1 Team, according to current Oracle Red Bull Racing driver Sergio Pérez.
Szafnauer was sacked as Team Principal at Alpine ahead of the summer break, with the American being followed out of the door by Sporting Director Alan Permane.
Szafnauer had only been in the role for just over eighteen months having left a similar role with the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team, but the target of making Alpine competitive by 2026 was not quick enough for the management team, who believe success can come quicker than that.
Esteban Ocon had taken a podium finish in the Monaco Grand Prix in May, but results elsewhere had not been as strong, and it was only after the announcement of Szafnauer’s departure that Pierre Gasly was able to bring home a third-place finish in the Sprint race in Belgium.
Pérez, who raced under Szafnauer when he was Team Principal of the Racing Point Formula 1 Team that eventually became Aston Martin, says he should have been given more time to turn the fortunes of the Enstone-based team around as bringing success to a team does not happen overnight.
And the Mexican hopes that his successor, which is currently penned to be Bruno Famin, is given the time to turn around the fortunes of a team currently isolated in sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship standings.
“I think I was quite surprised with it, given how short notice it was,” Pérez is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “I think Otmar is great, [and] any person in that position, you’ve got to give them time.
“I think Otmar lacked time to really show his potential, which I know is huge because I’ve seen what he’s done in other teams with very limited budgets and with not-so-limited budgets as well.
“I think that it’s a shame that they let him move on but I think, on the other hand, whoever comes needs to have proper time because all these things in Formula 1 take a massive time.”