Motorsport: Motor racing-Aston Martin announce exit of F1 principal Szafnauer


LONDON (Reuters) -Otmar Szafnauer has left the Aston Martin Formula One staff, the place he was chief govt officer and principal however lately fended off hypothesis he may very well be heading to Renault-owned rivals Alpine.

Silverstone-based Aston Martin, owned by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, mentioned in an announcement {that a} management staff would take over till a substitute was appointed.

There was no instant remark from Alpine.

“We want to thank him for the service supplied to the staff over the previous 12 years and want him effectively for the longer term as he’ll undoubtedly tackle new challenges,” Mercedes-powered Aston Martin mentioned.

“Fortunately, we’re led and managed by a powerful group of people, and we’re comfy to take a while to discover choices earlier than saying a brand new staff construction.

“The focus of the staff is at present on making ready essentially the most aggressive automobile potential for the beginning of the 2022 season.”

The season is because of begin in Bahrain on March 20.

Szafnauer’s departure got here as no actual shock, his place topic to appreciable hypothesis final 12 months.

French publication AutoHebdo reported in November that Szafnauer, a long-time Formula One insider who labored with Honda after which Force India proprietor Vijay Mallya earlier than that staff was taken over by Stroll, had been approached by Alpine.

The Romanian-American govt did not silence the rumour-mill, regardless of saying he had a long-term contract with Aston Martin and no intention of leaving.

“I like this staff… I’ve been loyal to this staff. I’ve had many, many affords within the 12 years that I’ve been working for this staff, particularly within the days of (Force India) chapter and insolvency,” he mentioned then.

“I may have left many occasions, however I’m loyal to the workers there.”

Aston Martin final 12 months introduced in former McLaren staff boss Martin Whitmarsh as group chief govt, a place above Szafnauer.

Stroll has been investing closely within the staff, recruiting from rivals and increasing the manufacturing unit as he seeks to show Aston Martin into title challengers.

His son Lance is one of the drivers, together with 4 occasions world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Aston Martin completed seventh total final 12 months, with Alpine fifth.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Christian Radnedge)

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