After a Miami Grand Prix that confirmed the very poor start to the season for the French team, Laurent Rossi stepped up to the plate. The CEO of Alpine, who does not blame the pilots, directly threatens director Otmar Szafnauer and his team with “consequences” if they do not manage to quickly raise the bar. Sebastian Ocon is not spared however by his ex-teammate Fernando Alonso.
This time, it’s too much for Laurent Rossi. So the day after a Miami Grand Prix came on top of Alpine’s very poor start to the season and confirmed the difficulties of the French team, the brand’s CEO felt that the time had come to bang his fist on Table. Rossi is particularly targeting one man: Otmar Szafnauer, the team manager. If ever the latter and his team do not quickly manage to straighten the bar, the Romanian-American leader could indeed serve as a fuse.
“If they fail to give their best and overturn this ship, there will be extenuating circumstances (…) Otherwise, it is the rule of business, there will be consequences. And I won’t wait until the end of the year”assures Rossi, very upset against Szafnauer, whom he considers the first responsible for this start far from his expectations. “He is responsible for the performance of the team, it is his job. There is no hiding place here. Otmar was led to lead the team, throughout the season and the following seasons, towards the objectives that we have set ourselves, which is to constantly progress, as we did the first two years. »
Ocon spared by Rossi but not by… Alonso
The CEO of Alpine puts pressure on the boss of the team. On the other hand, he does not seem to blame the two drivers Pierre Gasly and Sebastian Ocon. However, since the start of the season, neither of the two Frenchmen has done better than eighth (Ocon had finished in this place in Saudi Arabia, Gasly imitated him on Sunday in Florida) and if Alpine must be content for the moment with sixth place in the constructors’ standings (while Rossi is waiting for a place in the Top 4), the two Habs obviously have their share of responsibility too.
However, if Rossi leaves Ocon alone for the moment, it is not the case of Fernando Alonso. After his new podium, in Miami on Sunday, the former teammate of the young French driver at Alpine severely tackled him. “Lance (Stroll, Alonso’s teammate at Aston Martin) is a driver who thinks like a teammate (…) Last year, it was the opposite. I was the first target of my teammate (Ocon). It was obviously not beneficial for the team. » Ambiance…