Rumoured destinations for out-of-work Alpine stalwart revealed by Ted Kravitz

Michelle Foster
Alpine A523 mechanical detail of the front wing. Belgian July 2023

Alpine A523 mechanical detail of the front wing.

Axed by Alpine on Friday afternoon, Ted Kravitz reckons Alan Permane won’t be without a job for long with two teams and the FIA rumoured to be interested.

Alpine grabbed the headlines on the Friday of the Belgian Grand Prix weekend as they announced a double departure with sporting director Permane and team boss Otmar Szafnauer given the boot.

Their exits come in the midst of a disappointing season for Alpine with the team scoring just 47 points in 11 races to sit 40 points behind the surging McLaren who have outscored them by 70 to three in the last three races.

Ted Kravitz: Alan Permane will find another job in Formula One quite quickly

This weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix will therefore mark the end of Permane’s 34-year career with the Enstone team, having joined during the squad’s Benetton days.

“I think with Otmar and with Alan, it’s the same. They are great people, we really thank them for all they brought to the team,” said Bruno Famin, Alpine’s vice president of motorsport and now interim team principal.

“But we were not on the same line, on the timeline to recover the level of performance we are aiming for. And mutually we agreed to split our ways. And that’s it.”

Permane though needn’t worry about his employment options with Kravitz revealing already there are rumours Williams, who on Friday announced they’d signed Alpine’s Pat Fry, and Red Bull said to be interested. So too are the FIA.

“Listen, all you can say is that Alan Permane will find another job in Formula One quite quickly,” Kravitz said in his post-qualifying notebook for Sky Sports.

“Williams is rumoured because that’s where Pat Fry, the chief technical officer, is going. The FIA is also rumoured, Alan Permane could easily help Niels Wittich out and be the co next race director.

“I don’t think there’s any other team that wouldn’t have Alan Permane.

“Red Bull is rumoured because he’s good friends with Jonathan Wheatley, and Christian Horner spoke in glowing terms in the press conference about Alan Permane. Alan Permane will be fine a job.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

F1 penalty points: One driver has points added and takes unwanted P1 from Pierre Gasly

Most F1 wins by engine: Ford still surprisingly high ahead of F1 return with Red Bull

Alpine Academy Director Julian Rouse will replace Permane as the team’s interim sporting director.

As for team principal Szafnauer, who was only in charge for 18 months having joined the team from Aston Martin, Kravitz now has a year-long holiday ahead of him.

“Otmar has a year of gardening leave, so we’ll see what happens there,” he said.

Summing it all up, the pit lane reporter said: “That is all there is to say about the movements but it has been a tumultuous day, and one that you feel Alpine have been only too happy to make absolutely public today.”

Read next: Otmar Szafnauer sacking: A victim of McLaren and Aston Martin surge?