Prost “very disappointed” as split from Alpine is revealed

2022 F1 season

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Alain Prost says he is “very disappointed” after news of his split from Alpine emerged today.

The four-times world champion has served as a special advisor to Alpine and Renault since the manufacturer return to Formula 1 as a full constructor in 2016. However Prost, 66, confirmed he declined an offer to continue in the role at the final race weekend of last season.

After details of the split emerged on Monday, Prost complained about the disclosure in a social media post.

“I am very disappointed how this new has been announced today,” said Prost. “It was agreed that we would announce together with Alpine F1 Team! No respect sorry!

“I have refused the offer made to me in Abu Dhabi for the 2022 season because of a personal relationship and I was right! To the Enstone and Viry team I will miss you.”

The loss of Prost is the second significant departure from the team so far this year. Alpine confirmed last week executive director Marcin Budkowski had left ahead of the new season. Otmar Szafnauer, who left Aston Martin earlier this year and has been replaced by Mike Krack, has been tipped to take the place vacated by Budkowski.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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18 comments on “Prost “very disappointed” as split from Alpine is revealed”

  1. After the way Renault F1/Alpine has seemed stuck in politics at the top for much of its latest return rather than in the details of getting a faster car out, hearing Prost left made me wary for how the team is doing for the season, and Prost’s implication that it’s about interpersonal relations breakdown certainly doesn’t help.

    I really hope Alonso and Ocon can stick together as a solid pair in trying to keep the team moving forwards, because there seems to be a lot of pressure to change course every time the team threatens to even get on the gas.

    1. At the end of the day the team Abiteboul setup and the direction the team was heading wasn’t producing the results and trajectory he consistently promised. Alpine are still adjusting and working with what they have and removing those they don’t see as necessary or maybe are stuck with Abiteboul’s plan/way of thinking.

      Positive developments I think, but time will tell.

      1. I see your point, but feel skeptical it is somehow going to work this time @skipgamer, it really seems like another ego-battle at the top, which certainly isn’t what this team most needs.

  2. Not sure how to interpret what is going on at Alpine.

    Change can be both positive or negative but given their complete lack of major progress since returning as a full manufacturer, and indeed their lack of a usable PU prior to that, I’m inclined to lean towards it being negative.

    1. @dbradock

      For some reason every change that happens at Alpine seems about the team not getting things right. It’s not like they’ve found a great direction, and they’re building on that by trimming the fat, it instead feels like another failure and a back to the drawing board approach.

      Honestly, this team’s been a mess ever since it got back on the grid in 2016. I think they’ve peaked at P5 in the Wcc. They don’t look capable of beating Ferrari or Mclaren, who are building on positive momentum. Beating Red bull and Mercedes is just a dream for them right now. Feel bad for Alonso, who’s going to be spending his last season or two in a poorly managed team with lesser potential than Mclaren had at the end of 2018.

  3. “Mike Krack” says Alain after getting the boot.

  4. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Too bad Laurent Rossi doesn’t get it. I think his ego is making decisions and causing political rifts in the team. So sad to see Prost go. Under Otmar’s leadership the Force India/Racing Point/Aston Martin outfit didn’t see any noticeable growth, as far as I can remember. What makes Rossi think he’d be great for Alpine? Is it because of the BWT sponsorship Otmar is expected to bring? Alpine improved significantly this year. I hope these leadership changes don’t topple the growth trajectory of the team. Too much politics and too many changes ruin a team’s prospects. Examples: Toyota, Jaguar, BMW Williams.

    1. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
      This is the stupidest quote you could use when discussing anything that progress and development is part of.

  5. There is some news about Flavio making a comeback.. That would make things interesting

    1. @u2f1 Doesn’t Flavio have a ‘lifetime ban’? I know this is F1 and a few conversations in the darker corners of the paddock can change anything, but it would be pretty bold of Renault to go down that route.

      1. That lifetime ban he got got thrown out when Flavio took it to a real court, since the rules (at the time) did not actually specifically covered/included team principal responsibilities, so the court ruled that the FIA ruled on something they had no jurisdiction on.

        1. Ahhhh…… thank you @bascb

    2. Given the corporate environment F1 has become, I think Otmar Szafnauer is a much better fit.

  6. As much as I respect Prost as a driver, his record in senior leadership of racing teams has been less than glowing.

    1. Agreed. And at the risk of generalizing, a 66-year-old Frenchman’s outlook on leadership might not be compatible with a younger, modern way of team management.

    2. Yes, the prost team didn’t really leave a mark like the ex driver who managed it.

    3. Agree, and I didn’t like him at all as a driver too. We often call him Le Profiteur as he used mainly politics to get his titles.

  7. Lots of change going on at Alpine and Aston Martin. But I would honestly be surprised if either of them are in the fight for the title anytime soon. Maybe 5 years if they have got the right people in place.

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