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Szafnauer offers fresh take on "two popes" conundrum at Alpine

Szafnauer offers fresh take on "two popes" conundrum at Alpine

F1 News

Szafnauer offers fresh take on "two popes" conundrum at Alpine

Szafnauer offers fresh take on "two popes" conundrum at Alpine
Ian Parkes

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer believes he and CEO Laurent Rossi are able to work together easily as "popes of separate churches".

Szafnauer joined the French manufacturer ahead of the recent F1 campaign after suddenly leaving Aston Martin, a team he had been in control of since its days as Force India.

In joining Alpine, Szafnauer had put his departure down to having 'two popes in the same church' in a slight aimed at the appointment of Martin Whitmarsh as Group CEO which, he felt, had undermined his position.

At the Enstone-based team, however, Szafnauer has Rossi in a similar role as the overarching CEO of the wider Alpine company.

But when asked how the pair had combined across the first season together, Szafnauer told select media including GPFans: "Working with Laurent is really easy because we're like popes of separate churches.

“His responsibilities are that he's the CEO of Alpine, the car company, and one of the pillars of the Alpine car company is a Formula 1 team, or one of the entities underneath him.

“I just report to him there. He's got all sorts of other direct reports to sell cars, design cars, manufacture cars, market the cars, all that stuff.

“It’s kind of like Toto [Wolff, Mercedes team principal] reporting to Ola Källenius [Mercedes-Benz CEO] .”

Additional reporting by Ewan Gale

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