Ousted F1 team boss fighting back against record-breaking F1 2024 schedule

Jamie Woodhouse
The F1 cars race into Turn 1 at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

F1 cars race into the opening corner.

Former Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer is looking for partner teams to trial an app which his company has developed, aimed at making travel around the F1 calendar easier to manage.

Szafnauer was in the thick of the Formula 1 action up until the summer of 2023, but his team principal duties at Alpine came to an abrupt end when his exit, alongside that of sporting director Alan Permane and chief technical officer Pat Fry, was confirmed mid-Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

And he has been putting his unexpected free time to good use in an effort to aid F1 personnel with the planned record-breaking F1 2024 season which is set to feature 24 rounds.

Otmar Szafnauer working on team travel app

Szafnauer’s firm Soft Pauer is no stranger to developing software to aid Formula 1, having created the first official Formula One Timing and Track Positioning Application, then expanding to the data screens available to personnel on the pit wall until F1’s commercial rights holder Liberty Media brought all digital media activities under one roof.

Now, Szafnauer’s company is working on a fresh project that will allow teams to digitally track travel information as they move around the globe with Formula 1, which has the potential to be a very handy tool considering the packed schedule to come.

Szafnauer hopes to soon reach the stage where teams can begin trialling the app.

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Speaking in an interview with F1 analyst Peter Windsor on his YouTube channel, Szafnauer said: “There are some things that we’re working on.

“We also did for a year the Paddock Club app, and you know, we still have some technology for that and I think there’s applications for that elsewhere.

“We also did a travel app for teams. So instead of having pieces of paper that show you what flight you’re on, what hotel room you’re in, what bus you’re on leaving this circuit or leaving the airport, that could all be done electronically and if it’s in an app, it’s just so much more useful and versatile.

“You could for example, see everybody that’s on your flight, or if the flight gets cancelled or changed, you can then just tap on the button and go and book another one or if you wanted to check in for a flight and get your boarding pass, you can do that from the app where if you have a piece of paper, you can’t really do that.

“So that’s something we’re working on now and hope to partner with a team or two in the near future.”

Since Szafnauer’s Alpine departure, Alpine Motorsport vice president Bruno Famin has been filling the F1 team boss role and will continue to do so into F1 2024.

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