May 29 - Esteban Ocon raced through an apparent spat between his Alpine team bosses to put the Renault-owned team back on track in Monaco.

In Miami recently, it became clear that new-in-2022 team boss Otmar Szafnauer was in the hot seat as Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi singled him out amid Alpine's failure to improve for 2023.

Rossi used words including "dilettantes" and "amateurish" to describe the Enstone based team and pointed out that Szafnauer was obviously the head of the snake.

When asked about it in Monaco, Szafnauer admitted he will need to make changes.

"We hit most of our targets, not all of them, over the winter," he said, "and for us to hit all of them we have to make some changes within the organisation.

"Those changes are coming."

On track, French driver Esteban Ocon had the perfect response - a P3 start on the grid, and third at the chequered flag in Monaco.

When asked what the result means in the context of CEO Rossi's recent outbursts, Ocon said: "Why everyone is delighted, that's for sure.

"Formula 1 is unpredictable," he added. "You don't know what's going to happen and at the moment, with how tight the field is, a little bit more pace can change your weekend completely.

"As I keep saying, we keep pushing, we don't stop believing and hopefully that's the first podium of many," Ocon said.

And yet, in the background, it is not clear if the podium will improve the apparently strained relationship between team boss Szafnauer and CEO Rossi.

Szafnauer indicated that he's not particularly comfortable with the basic management structure at Alpine.

For example, while Zak Brown is CEO of McLaren Racing, McLaren's executive chairman of the entire McLaren Group is Paul Walsh. Similarly, Toto Wolff is in charge of Mercedes' works F1 team but the Mercedes company is separate.

Rossi, on the other hand, is CEO of Alpine Cars, he is also CEO of the F1 team - sharing power in the paddock with Szafnauer.

"Well, the structure is a little bit different than what I'm used to in the past," said Szafnauer, who arrived at Alpine early last year from Aston Martin.

"From a technical perspective, we do make the decisions and we need to be able to put the tools in place, the right people in place in order for success. And we're working on that."

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7 F1 Fan comments on “Team turmoil & triumph: Ocon's F1 podium hints at Alpine's future

  1. smokey

    It was a great drive by both Ocon and Gasly to finish well at Monaco in difficult conditions.
    Let's hope Alpine can get their management act together to provide more support for their drivers and team. The potential is there, they just need to aim higher in their expectations.

  2. ReallyOldRacer

    Can't wait for cigar chomper Rossi to take credit for the Monaco results.

    Aside, Ocon's exuberance was a post race treat. If you want to see a 'real' celebration watch just the last lap and post-race at the Indy 500. From experience, THAT is what winning is about.

    • smokey

      ROR, we all know the Indy 500 is a great spectacle. However, with strict broadcast rights we don't get to see any of the actual race or even the last lap or presentation here down under! All we got to see of this year's race was the highlights of the unfortunate crash which saw the wheel rocketing skywards over the spectators and into the car park! Sad when you consider there are drivers from down under who compete in the Indy 500, but no tv coverage.

      • ReallyOldRacer

        That sucks! Aussies (and Kiwis) are huge fans of all types of racing and you folks deserve better. It would be worth seeing if you can find the post-race on utube. BEST driver celebration ever. Neugarden cleared the fence, went into the grandstand and let the crowd mob him while his wife was broken down in tears of joy in the paddock. First time in many years that I have watched the post-race. BTW, raceday attendance was just over 300,000 fans. Penske flatass knows how to throw a party.

        • smokey

          I followed your suggestion, ROR, and watched the Indy 500 on utube. Not even FoxSports or Sky telecast the Indy 500 to us down under. I use Kayo, which is a Fox Sports / Sky combined subscription, where I can watch F1, F2, F3, Nascar Cup, Moto GP, Moto 2, Moto 3, Moto E, Superbikes, Toyota Gazoo, Australian Supercars and F1 Academy. Alas, no Indycar and no Indy 500 or speedway apart from Nascar Cup.
          I must say I was truly astounded by the number of incidents and very near misses that occurred in Pit Lane! For me the biggest concern was to see drivers completely lose control of their cars, spin and collide into other cars on their way into or out of the Pit Lane! I don't know if there is a speed limit for Pit Lane in Indycar, but if there isn't a speed limit there needs to be one, same as in F1. I was really shocked to see drivers ram into other race cars because they had completely lost control by what looked like over exuberance with the throttle!

        • BigSkyBob

          I watched Marcus Erikson's response to the late restart, and I thought, "You are racing at Indy because a lot of people paid good money, and, perhaps, traveled great distances to sit in high heat to watch. Millions more sat through an hour of commercials to watch you race on TV. Sponsors paid millions of dollars for your equipment, and you are complaining about giving them a good show!" What Newgarden did was great! I wished he had shouted out on the podium, "Are you not entertained!"


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