New Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer has cited a reduction in his influence and responsibilities as the key factor in his departure from Aston Martin.
After months of speculation towards the end of last year, Szafnauer departed Aston Martin in early January before being confirmed at Alpine two months later.
Discussing the fallout from Aston Martin in the run-up to his departure, Szafnauer has stated the hiring of Martin Whitmarsh as the team's group CEO was pivotal given the restructuring that followed of the management team.
“Once it became clear the management structure was going to be as such, I didn’t have the influence I thought I should have with Martin coming in," said Szafnauer.
“All my discussions with the seniors [at Alpine] said the reason they wanted me to come was because of all my experience in Formula 1 and to apply that to Alpine and help us in the aim to win races.
“When the fellows that are hiring you say that, you feel very confident that is what they’re hiring you for and they want your experience. That’s why I went with the experience.”
Szafnauer was willing to honour contract
Szafnauer is adamant he would have honoured his contract with Aston Martin had his role remained unaltered under Whitmarsh.
“They made it very clear to me the responsibilities that I used to have before were never given back," added Szafnauer. “Once I learned that then it was really time to look [elsewhere].
“It was at the last race [in Abu Dhabi last year] I was told ‘You used to be able to run the team but you’re not running it anymore’.
“I had a contract, I had no reason to leave. Had the responsibilities not been taken away from me, I would have stayed.”
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