Alpine to go on hiring spree to match big teams

Henry Valantine
Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer. Austria July 2022.

Otmar Szafnauer surveys the grid in front of the Alpine of Esteban Ocon. Austria July 2022.

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has confirmed the team are looking to add an extra 75 staff members, to compete with the bigger teams in terms of their resources.

With the budget cap in Formula 1 having gone towards levelling the playing field, what had been previously smaller teams have been looking to expand in order to match the established front-runners – with Aston Martin having already invested heavily in bringing in high-profile arrivals to the team, such as former McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh and signing Red Bull’s aerodynamics chief Dan Fallows in the process.

Alpine are becoming the next team looking to increase their presence in their factories in Enstone and Viry, as well as having had approval on expanding their headquarters for the years ahead.

With those factors combined, the team hope their additional resources will help them fight with the sport’s big guns.

“There’s a still an element of expansion and investment and we’re committed to that,” Szafnauer said to The Race.

“We’re looking at hiring another 75 people, there’s about 850 of us here – we’ve got to be at the size of the big teams if we want to fight with the big teams.

“And it’s not just about adding people, it’s adding the right people with the right culture, and the right racing spirit. And we’re looking for those now.

“We’ve had good success in recruiting, as well as expanding the site here as well, too. And that’s been recently approved.

“I think work will start just around the corner from us very soon.”

Szafnauer, who moved to the team from Aston Martin in early 2022, added that there are several factors which can also work in Alpine’s favour, including their status as a factory team, owning a wind tunnel of their own and a set-up which can compete for success.

The team have set themselves a target of being able to fight for titles towards the end of the current regulations in 2024 or 2025, and the Alpine team principal said they are in the process of trying to find the right people who can propel them on their journey.

“There are great strengths here, a very knowledgeable workforce,” Szafnauer said. “We have our own tunnel, without a customer in it. A great infrastructure.

“There are some areas that I’ve been used to at other teams be a little bit stronger and have some more knowledge and, in those areas, we just have to add people with that type of knowledge. We’re looking for them now.”