Famin: Alpine and Szafnauer were 'not on the same timeline'

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Alpine Motorsport VP Bruno Famin says the Enstone squad and its soon-to-be former team principal Otmar Szafnauer were "not on the same timeline" regarding the team's future.

Alpine announced on Friday at Spa that it will part ways with Szafnauer and sporting director Alan Permane after the Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

The restructuring comes in the wake of a management reshuffle that started with Famin's promotion to his current position as Alpine Motorsport's VP while he remains in charge of Renault's engine department in Viry-Châtillon.

The move allowed Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi to take a step back from the brand's sporting activities, but Rossi himself was then replaced as Alpine's chief executive by Philippe Krief, a decision taken by Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo.

Queried on the changes announced on Friday, Famin said that Alpine and Szafnauer were at odds over the timeline and process involved in turning around the French outfit's fortunes.

"We were not on the same line or timeline on how to recover or reach the level of performance we were aiming for, we decided to split our ways," Famin said.

"I think we have a different view of the way of doing it. And of course, it's also in terms of timeline but I think we have not exactly the same view on doing things."

Events of late at Alpine coupled with the team's underperformance inevitably call into question the team's ability to build a cohesive and stable unit capable of fulfilling the 100-race plan initially laid out by Rossi to propel the squad to the top of the field.

Despite today's announcements, Famin believes that Alpine's plan isn't in jeopardy.

"What is happening is the second stage of the Alpine plan. It's not going backwards, it's moving forwards," he explained.

"Of course, it's lot of change but it's also an opportunity to consolidate the foundation to go further and faster.

"The key objective is we want to win races and championships as soon as possible. We need to improve constantly our cars, the full package, from race to race, from year to year.

"We know that it's not easy. We know a change of regulations is generally a good milestone for changing the ranking and it's quite a reasonable target but it will not be a step.

"We will be improving constantly up to that."

Famin said that Alpine would use F1's upcoming summer break to properly "assess" the team's situation, a comment that suggests that Friday's changes were perhaps decided without a comprehensive appraisal of Alpine's plight.

"I will assess with the whole team what is the real situation. I will take the necessary time to do this assessment," he added.

"The results not matching expectations. We were fourth last year, we were aiming to keep fourth place and maybe get closer to third.

"We are not where we wanted and we will work hard with the teams, with the Enstone guys and the Viry guys to extract the best possible performance for our car."

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