“You need two drivers who deliver regularly,” Otmar Szafnauer criticises Daniel Ricciardo for his poor performances in 2022


“You need two drivers who deliver regularly,” Otmar Szafnauer criticises Daniel Ricciardo for his poor performances in 2022

Otmar Szafnauer and Daniel Ricciardo

Otmar Szafnauer led Alpine to a P4 finish in the constructors standings as the 2022 F1 season came to an end. This basically cemented the fact that the Enstone based squad was deemed ‘best of the rest’ as Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes took the top three spots in the constructors standings. However, their golden moment of 2022 has to be beating McLaren in the standings.

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McLaren had brought in Daniel Ricciardo in order to put up a tough fight with Lando Norris and move the team forward as they worked towards their ultimate goals. Unfortunately the Ricciardo X McLaren pairing was not what the fans and critics had in mind. It seemed like the Aussie driver was not able to adapt to McLaren’s challenger as he failed to put up a fight against his teammate.

At times, Daniel Ricciardo wasn’t even able to get out of Q1 which was a huge disappointment for McLaren but a great advantage for Otmar Szafnauer and Alpine as they went 2 on 1 against Lando Norris who had to subsequently carry the whole team. What followed was Daniel being replaced by another Aussie in the likes of Oscar Piastri for the 2023 season.

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Otmar Szafnauer was not impressed by Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo

During an interview with Auto, Motor und Sport, here is what the Alpine Team Principal had to say. “You need two drivers who deliver regularly. If you only have one, it hurts you twice.” Such was the harsh use of words by Otmar that were painfully accurate as Daniel Ricciardo wasn’t able to work on the same level as Lando Norris during his short stint at McLaren.

With reliability hurting Alpine’s charge in 2022, CEO Laurent Rossi shared his thoughts. “They were quicker in dealing with it. We had not done much with the new car for Corona. They got a head start by doing fundamental research at the time,” Rossi said. The team had about 8 DNF’s as they went on to try and challenge the top teams.

Otmar Szafnauer had done a great job with Alpine so far. However he only seems to come into a team and bring it to the top of the midfield and isn’t able to progress from there. If a big team picks him up, we might get to see how he would have handled the situation but that hasn’t happened yet. With 2023 just around the corner, it will be interesting to see how Alpine fare in the opening rounds.

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