Budkowski hints Alpine have imposed gardening leave

Jon Wilde
Former Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski. Zandvoort September 2021.

Former Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski pictured at the Dutch Grand Prix. Zandvoort September 2021.

Marcin Budkowski looks unlikely to make a swift return to Formula 1 after his Alpine exit, judging by his latest Instagram post.

Alpine issued a statement on Thursday announcing the 44-year-old Pole was vacating his position as the executive director of their F1 team with immediate effect.

Budkowski had only been in that role for a year, following a restructure of the team’s hierarchy as they switched from Renault to Alpine, having joined the French company for the 2018 season.

There had been rumours that Budkowski could be involved in some kind of ‘job swap’ with Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer, who has also left his position.

But that prospect was ruled out when, the day after Budkowski’s departure, Aston Martin announced that Mike Krack was replacing Szafnauer.

Therefore it appears Budkowski does not have anything immediate lined up, especially considering an image he posted on Instagram.

That suggests he is entering a period of ‘gardening leave’, which is the term used for someone facing a period of inactivity between jobs after parting ways with an employer – giving them plenty of time to tend to their garden.

In the statement announcing his exit, Budkowski said: “I truly enjoyed being part of the leadership team of Renault and then Alpine F1 team, working with such a talented and dedicated group of people.

“I will be watching the team’s progress fondly in the seasons to come.”

The move indicates there could potentially be some quite significant changes at Alpine, although it also remains a distinct possibility, the F1 rumour mill would suggest, that Szafnauer could arrive to head up the team with everything else remaining as it is.

Racing director Davide Brivio, whose background had been in MotoGP before his move to Alpine, has been linked with a return to the two-wheeled sport but remains in situ.

Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi is understood to be supervising preparations for the 2022 season until such time as a successor to Budkowski is named.

“I would like to thank Marcin Budkowski for his commitment and contribution to the team’s results over the last four years,” said Rossi.

“The team is fully focused on getting the car ready for the first race in Bahrain and delivering a step beyond in performance.”


Alpine, with drivers Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon, will be hoping the new regulations offer an opportunity to move up from the fifth position in the Constructors’ Championship they, and also under their previous name of Renault, have occupied at the end of the last three seasons.


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