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F1 legend reveals damning reason for shock switch to rivals

F1 legend reveals damning reason for shock switch to rivals

F1 News

F1 legend reveals damning reason for shock switch to rivals

F1 legend reveals damning reason for shock switch to rivals

Williams Chief Technical Officer Pat Fry has said that he left Alpine due to a lack of drive to 'move forward beyond fourth'.

The Brit - who has worked in Formula 1 since 1987 at a huge host of teams including Ferrari, Benetton and McLaren - left Alpine earlier this season to instead join Williams after three full seasons of steady progress.

He was one of a number of key personnel who left the Enstone-based team after a poor start to 2023, including team principal Otmar Szafnauer.

It was announced at the Belgian Grand Prix that Fry would be joining Williams towards the end of the season in an identical role to which he held with Alpine.

Pat Fry has enjoyed a long career in Formula 1 which dates back to 1987
Otmar Szafnauer stepped down as Alpine team principal after a poor start to 2023 for the team
Fernando Alonso left Alpine to join Aston Martin, after Sebastian Vettel's retirement from Formula 1

Now, Fry has admitted that there was no real ambition from the team to progress any further than they already had, perhaps prompting the mass exodus.

“I look back at the first three years I was there, and we improved Enstone, dramatically,” Fry told Autosport.

“Year-on-year, we built a better car.

“If you put the three cars next to each other, each one was a massive step. It’s a credit for everyone there, the various teams were collaborating a huge amount better. I think everyone there should be proud of what we achieved for those three years.

“I guess I’d gone back there to go back to the place you started your career and try and rebuild it. And I think we did really well. From a distant fifth, we were a solid fourth.

“But I didn’t feel there was the enthusiasm or the drive to move forward beyond fourth.”

Szafnauer removed from his position

Otmar Szafnauer spent the majority of his career with the Racing Point team

Whilst Szafnauer had enjoyed a successful career with the Force India/Racing Point team, he joined Alpine after a tumultuous time with Aston Martin.

He was only given one full season with the Enstone-based outfit, something that Fry believes was not enough time.

“Enstone as such, the destiny that we were in charge of, we could control,” he continued. “And I think we did a good job.

“I’m not so sure that Otmar got a fair chance at fixing the place, because to some degree I think metaphorically, your hands are tied, I guess.

“But as I say, I think everyone there should be proud of what we achieved in those first three years."

READ MORE: Alpine confirm Schumacher for 2024 to complete driver line-up

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