Szafnauer: 'Better for all parties' that I leave Aston Martin

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Otmar Szafnauer believes that it was "better for all parties" that he depart Aston Martin after a twelve-year tenure with the team.

The long-standing team principal of Team Silverstone who guided the outfit through thick and thin in its Force India and Racing Point guises was rumored to be on the move last November in Brazil.

But Szafnauer denied the hearsay at the time, insisting that he was bound by a long-term contract with his employer.

However, amid Aston Martin's continued restructuring initiatives which included the appointment of former top McLaren man Martin Whitmarsh as group CEO, the team announced in January Szafnauer's exit which paved the way for the American to join Alpine as its new team principal.

Asked in Bahrain what had changed between last November and the end of the year to prompt his departure, the 57-year-old team boss wouldn't elaborate on the reasons, simply stating that "time moved on".

"At that point, there was no intention of leaving," Szafnauer said. "But as time moved on and things changed at Aston, I thought it was better for all parties that I looked elsewhere."

In February, ousted from one team under reorganization, Szafnauer joined another – Alpine – that was undergoing a significant management transformation, with executive director Marcin Budkowski and special advisor Alain Prost both departing Enstone.

So far, Szafnauer is happy with his new home in Formula 1.

"I'm really enjoying it," he said. "This is my sixth day. I spent a few days at the factory, I tried to walk around and meet as many people as I can really in the first few days.

"I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of faces that I knew there from my past, be it from Honda or British American Racing, even Force India. I know how the people are.

"[There's] great potential, like-minded people, pulling in the same direction and wanting to do well. They've got a great history there.

"They've won before, good infrastructure, so I really look forward to working with them all."

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