SportF1Szafnauer contradicts Alonso's explanation of his departure

Szafnauer contradicts Alonso's explanation of his departure

The news of the signing of Fernando Alonso by Aston Martin came as a surprise on the first day of the summer holidays, and that is that the boss of his current team, Otmar Szafnauer , assured that they only needed “ten minutes” to agree on a renewal that they were going to announce in this Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix.

In the preview of the weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, the Spanish driver explained how his departure from Alpine to the British team was conceived, and the parties contradict each other.

The two-time world champion explained that Sebastian Vettel’s withdrawal was the trigger for him to start negotiating with those at Silverstone, and that after several months of talks with the French, he opted to sign a new multi-year contract in which they only had taking into account their performance and not their age, as was the case at Enstone.

In addition, he indicated that everyone inside the French garage knew of his departure before the official announcement, including the upper echelons and his own mechanics, but the head of the team management, Szafnauer , did not know anything.

“I am happy about this question,” Fernando Alonso replied when he was put on the table if his boss was aware of his decision. “It’s true, Otmar [Szafnauer] didn’t know anything, but I informed [Alpine CEO] Laurent Rossi, president Luca de Meo, my mechanics and my engineers before any announcement.”

“All the people who were involved in the negotiations had been informed before any announcement from Aston Martin,” said the Spaniard. “Otmar was not involved in the negotiations, and probably Laurent or Luca did not call him before the announcement and was surprised, but all the people I have been negotiating with were informed before the announcement of my move to Aston Martin.

These statements are what cast doubt on the veracity of Szafnauer’s story, who denied having any problem with his pilot and the way in which his departure was communicated.

“I speak the truth and as it is,” he explained to “When I left Fernando [Alonso] on Sunday from Hungary, he told me ‘look, don’t worry, we have time, I’m going to be on my boat in Greece during the holidays'”.

“That’s all I knew, he bought me a coffee on his boat, and I told him if he was around I’d look for him,” he continued. “That’s it, that’s what he told me, whether that happened or not, I don’t know.”

“From what I understand, the announcement was at 09:00 on Monday morning. I think that around 08:30 or 08:45 he called Luca [de Meo] and also Laurent [Rossi]”, revealed the American. “And with only 15 minutes notice it’s hard to call three people.”

“So yes, the announcement came before he had a chance to call me, but it wasn’t Sunday night that we were tipped off,” the Alpine boss contradicted.

Fernando Alonso stated that all the parties involved in the negotiations knew that he would go to Aston Martin and, although Otmar Szafnauer arrived after the Asturian to the team, he also participated in the talks.

“Negotiations with Fernando began before I joined the team. We were all aware that his contract was coming to an end, and he began to say that he would like to continue in F1, and stay with us,” he said. “So those negotiations started without me being there, but toward the end, I got involved.”

When asked if he felt that the man from Oviedo had underestimated him, the French chief said: “Not at all. As I said, he is a free agent.”

“There is no obligation on Fernando’s part to do anything other than what he has to do,” he defended. “I always say that a deal has to be good for both parties, and if he found a deal that was better, then he should go for it.”

“We did our best, as I said, we had negotiations with him in good faith, and we thought we were close to reaching a deal that was good for both parties, but he was a free agent, and he could do whatever he did.” Alpine’s boss concluded.

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