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Steiner: Szafnauer will be over it pretty quick

Steiner: Szafnauer will be over Alpine sacking pretty quick

Steiner: Szafnauer will be over it pretty quick

Guenther Steiner tipped former Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer to bounce back following his unceremonious exit from the French team over the Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

Alpine announced Szafnauer’s exit from his Team Principal role back at Spa with immediate effect and the company’s Vice President of Motorsport Bruno Famin took over as interim team boss.

Alpine’s long serving Sporting Director Alan Permane was also fired over the Formula 1 weekend in Belgium while Laurent Rossi was sidelined as CEO days earlier, assigned to “special projects”.

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Szafnauer insisted he would be fine following his ousting, but expressed his concern regarding the future of the staff within Alpine. He also claimed Alpine’s top management were pushing for unrealistic timelines to turn the situation around within the team.

Reacting to the Szafnauer news, Haas boss Guenther Steiner told Motorsport.com: “How it was done is not the normal way, but everybody does it their own way. I think obviously Otmar will be disappointed, but he has been there before.

“If you are in this job, I think most of us have been there before. One door closes, another one opens. In the end, in this job, it is just a difficult job. You are in the public eye; things can happen, and you just have to deal with that.

“I’m not saying that it’s nice to deal with it, but it’s part of it. I think Otmar will be over it pretty quick. As I said he has been there before, and these things they happen, it’s part of our life as a Team Principal,” the Italian maintained.

Steiner has his own troubles to deal with at Haas as the team endures one of its toughest campaigns in F1 this season, with a car that seems to have decent speed over one lap, but a bug appetite for tyres during the race, meaning Sunday have been a free fall down the order for both VF-23s.

The Holy Grail not the solution for Haas’ problems

Quizzed whether the team understand to problem with their 2023 F1 car, Steiner said: “I think some of it we understand completely. But honestly, we only understand some of it. We are running too high temperature, but there could be something else.

“You need to always fix things, but then you find the next problem. You never can wait until you have the Holy Grail,” he added.

“If I would know why the Red Bull is so fast, then why we don’t do the same? So, you need to get slowly there, and everybody gets slowly there.

“You fix it bit by bit, hoping that the other ones don’t make another leap so you catch up. We know our tyres run too hot, but is there something else as to why we have got such a big degradation of tyres?” Steiner mused.

Steiner admits the problem with the team’s VF-23 may be fundamental; he said: “If you see that, obviously, other people can manage the tyres differently.

“At some stage you need to admit it [the car] is wrong, because we get the same tyres and we’ve got the same wheels now as well.

“In the old days, you had different rims as well. But now everybody’s got the same wheels and the same tyres, so it must be something wrong with the car. And obviously, admission is the first step to getting better,” he concluded.

Haas are eighth in the 2023 F1 Constructors’ Standings with 11 points.