Pierre Gasly has offered his first reaction to the various Alpine leadership changes announced over the Belgian Grand Prix weekend, admitting he needs time to “let everything sink in”.
As the F1 field arrived at Spa-Francorchamps, it was confirmed that team principal Otmar Szafnauer and sporting director Alan Permane would leave the outfit after the racewhile Chief Technical Officer Pat Fry is on its way to Williams.
As a result, Bruno Famin, Vice President of Alpine Motorsports, will take on the role of Interim Team Principal from the Dutch Grand Prix. Famin had recently assumed the VP position and reported to CEO Laurent Rossi, only for the latter to be moved to “special projects” with Philippe Krief as successor.
Meanwhile, current Alpine Academy director Julian Rouse has been appointed interim sporting director, with Matt Harman leading the technical team at Enstone – both reporting to Famin.
Asked about the various changes and how he stays focused on driving, Gasly said: “My part of the job is to try to squeeze every hundredth and millisecond out of this car and that’s what I’m trying to do.
Gasly thanks departing Alpine staff amid great turmoil for the team
“Of course there have been a few changes (in the management structure) and I haven’t really had time to sit down and let everything sink in.
“But I think the most important (thing) for me to say right now is that I just want to thank Laurent, Otmar, Alan and Pat for their efforts and their work with me since the start of the year.
“It hasn’t been the smoothest of seasons and I don’t think anyone is happy with the performance, but I wish them the best for their future.”
Amid these off-track changes and a roller-coaster season for Alpine so far, Gasly gave the squad cause to celebrate with a P3 finish in the Spa Sprint, rising from sixth on the grid to third in mixed conditions.
New interim Alpine boss Bruno Famin explains team shake-up with Szafnauer, Fry and Permane ready to go
Speaking about the result, he commented: “I think the most important thing for me is the impact it has inside the team – more than the podium itself.
“It’s a sprint race. Of course it sounds good and you get a little trophy, but you don’t really jump on the box and stand on the podium.
“It’s a slightly different feeling, but nevertheless, you know, we’ll take it. We finished that sprint race in the top three. It was a difficult relationship and not easy to keep it to the end.
“I’m really, really happy for the guys, for the atmosphere inside the garage and everyone who has worked since the start of the year.”