Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer has finally opened up on his bitter exit from Aston Martin after his responsibilities were systematically taken away from him.

Szafnauer had been part of the team for the past 13 years throughout its changes from Force India to Racing Point and eventually Aston Martin.

He was serving as the team principal when Lawrence Stroll bought the team in 2018.

However, he left rather abruptly at the start of 2022 and barely gave any explanation as to why he made the decision.

He has now said that the appointment of Martin Whitmarsh as CEO made him feel marginalized.

“It became clear that the management structure was going to be such that I didn’t have the influence that I thought I should have, with Lawrence coming in,” Szafnauer said.

Szafnauer told that his control would be diluted

Otmar Szafnauer. Credit: thesportsrush.com

It was made clear to Szafnauer that he would no longer enjoy the sort of control that he once did.

“[Aston Martin] made it very clear to me that the responsibilities that I used to have before were never given back,” he said.

“[At the Abu Dhabi GP], I was told, ‘You used to be able to run the team, but you’re not running it anymore’.

“I had a contract. So, had the responsibilities not been taken away from me, I would have stayed.”

Szafnauer was confident that Alpine would allow him far more freedom in terms of decision-making.

“[I had] discussions with the seniors [at Alpine] who said, ‘Look, the reason we want you to come is because of all your experience in F1, and we want you to apply that to Alpine, and help us in our aim to win races’.

“When the fellows that are hiring you say that, then you feel very confident that that’s what they’re hiring you for. They want your experience, so that’s why I went with the experience.”

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