Otmar Szafnauer has no concerns about the focus of Fernando Alonso in his final nine races with the BWT Alpine F1 Team before he makes the switch to the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team in 2023.
Alonso made the surprise move from Alpine to Aston Martin, the Spaniard taking the place that will be vacated by the retiring Sebastian Vettel, and it has sparked a wild mid-season silly season of rumours that involves Oscar Piastri, Daniel Ricciardo and the McLaren F1 Team, amongst others.
Szafnauer, the Team Principal at Alpine, says he sees no reason why Alonso will not give it his all between now and the end of the season, believing the two-time World Champion still shares the same goals as the rest of the team, which involve beating McLaren to fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship.
“I have absolutely no worries about the rest of the season,” Szafnauer is quoted as saying by Autosport.com. “Our goals are pretty clear. We want to finish at least fourth in the Constructors’ Championship. I think third is a step too far.
“Fernando realises that too. He’s a professional. He’s a competitor. Once he puts that helmet on, you know as well as I do he wants to do the best he can, if not win.
“And there is nothing else that goes through his mind when he’s in the racing car apart from finishing as high as he can in that race and in the championship.
“And he still has that drive. It’s what he’s here to do. And I’m the same.”
To help with their fight against McLaren, Alpine have more updates to bring to its A522 this season, and Szafnauer says they will be doing everything they can to finish as best of the rest behind Oracle Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Ferrari and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team.
“I want to do absolutely the best we can,” Szafnauer said. “And especially this year, our upgrades are still coming very fast. We’ll have another upgrade at Spa and will continue to upgrade the car until the end of the year. And Fernando understands that too.
“And he will work hard, as will Esteban [Ocon] to maximise the performance of the team. I have no doubt about that.”