Szafnauer criticises ‘spiral of misinformation’ amidst rumours

Date published: November 12 2021 - Michelle Foster

Otmar Szafnauer in the Zandvoort paddock.. Netherlands September 2021

Aston Martin team boss Otmar Szafnauer has taken to social media to rubbish reports that he is leaving the team and heading to Alpine.

Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi is planning a major management reshuffle at the Enstone team with French magazine Auto Hebdo claiming that they could see Szafnauer walking away from Aston Martin and taking up a role at Alpine.

The report stated that ‘Szafnauer could take over the management of the French-British team as part of the vast restructuring plan being worked on by Laurent Rossi.

‘Amongst the restructuring projects is the recruitment of Otmar Szafnauer, who is reportedly under pressure at Aston Martin.’

Szafnauer recently found himself having to answer to a new boss with Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll bringing in former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh as Group CEO of the Performance Technologies division.

Szafnauer, however, says the report is nothing but “a spiral of misinformation”.

“My Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team communications staff have correctly issued a spokesperson’s statement to the effect that rumours linking me to Alpine F1 Team are merely ‘speculative conjecture’ and that they would not therefore comment further,” he wrote on social media.

“However, since the rumours have now been sensationalised on certain websites, creating a spiral of misinformation, I have taken the decision proactively to confirm hereby that the rumours are pure media speculation and not based on fact.”

One person that will be happy to hear that is Sebastian Vettel, the Aston Martin driver highlighting Szafnauer’s role in his decision to sign with the Silverstone-based team.

Asked about the report in Thursday’s press conference, he said: “I’ve only just heard about the rumours so I can’t say much about it.

“All I can say is that I get on very well with Otmar and he played a central role in me coming to Aston Martin.

“He is an important guy for us.”

2021 has not been the year Aston Martin expected, or wanted.

 

The team has fallen from fourth in the Constructors’ Championship to P7, undone by this year’s new floor regulations that seem to have cost F1’s low-rake cars more than their high-rake counterparts.

The team has scored just 68 points and claimed one podium, Sebastian Vettel P2 at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

He also finished on the podium in Hungary but was later disqualified as his AMR21 did not have enough fuel in it for the mandatory FIA tests.

 

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