Otmar Szafnauer: making Alpine “a very good cake!”


Alpine-Renault is having a very mixed start to the 2022 season. Although the French team does not firmly establish itself in a precise position in the Grand Prix hierarchy, it also suffers from difficulties in terms of reliability. As a result, the brand is sixth in the standings 20 points behind McLaren, fourth. However, the company with the A arrow remains ambitious, confident in the potential of the A522 and the team behind its development.

” Despite [l’objectif El Plan – gagner en 100 courses] it’s ambitious, it’s an achievable goal “believes Otmar Szafnauer. “We have enough time to fine-tune the right elements to win. We have our power unit, which is one of the main elements. We are free to choose the best riders we can find, that’s another important element.”

“And then do a great job on the chassis, the aerodynamics, understand the tires, all these important things, we’re working hard on it. So yeah, I think the ingredients are there, we just have to work with the ingredients – and you make a lot of cake. tasty! “He adds.

First frame born under the new regulations, the A522 has so far blown hot and cold. Very fast in the fastest lap – he was not far from pole position in Australia -, however, he lacks competitiveness on long stints, a level which has also been degraded by tire management and disappointing. However, progress has been made in Miami, others are expected in Spain next weekend, with the adoption of several new features. But be careful because the competition will not be outdone.

“We will have a new rear wing for Spain”reveals Otmar Szafnauer whose observations are broadcast by Motorsport.com. “It should be more efficient than the last time we went there [lors des essais hivernaux] and it should be a little more capable, so we’ll have it for both cars. “

Alpine-Renault is also continuing its weight reduction work, an area in which the company with arrow A is not in the best positions, and therefore has some potential for improvement.

“There is good progress to be made in this area”confirms Alan Permanente. “We’re still a little bit on the high end in terms of weight. I don’t think it’s as bad as some others, but we’re clearly not as good as others.”

At the same time, Alpine-Renault prepares its future, always thinking about this famous El Plan. Otmar Szafnauer has been able to settle in residence since his – still recent – arrival in the team. For the new strongman of Arrow A, one of the priorities is to ensure a certain stability to his workforce, while stimulating the desire to take risks. This was particularly adopted on the engine side, with recognized advances.

“Stability is essential”says Otmar Szafnauer. “Recruiting the right people and keeping them there is key. The way you treat them is also key, so they have the freedom to take risks, and if the risks they take don’t work, it’s that there are no negative consequences for them, because if there are, you tend not to take risks anymore ”.

“This is the atmosphere I like to foster, and the way you do it is to make sure that those who manage all the technical groups have that mindset too, and they are setting it up throughout the organization as well. Unfortunately, it takes time. . It doesn’t happen overnight. “He adds.

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