Otmar Szafnauer was a key figure in the success of Force India back in the day. Nobody expected the team to perform the way they did with the kind of resources the team possessed. Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon came into their element and delivered performances of the highest order. The audience fell in love with the team as they saw the rise of underdog, which became the best of the rest for two consecutive seasons.
But, it wasn’t all rosy for the team as the team as they started to face financial troubles after part owner Vijay Mallya was accused of a fraud in his home country. But the team continue to fight through adversity and registered their best points finish with a total of 187 points and equaled their best ever finish in the constructor’s championship by finishing P4.
Otmar Szafnauer was at the heart of what the team was doing. He was the one to take the blame while he was at the helm of affairs. But the tables turned when Lawrence Stroll took over the team. This meant that one of the drivers had to be sacrificed to make for his son, Lance Stroll. Esteban Ocon took the hit after having a sensational season with the team.
Otmar Szafnauer clarifies his reasons behind his exit from Aston Martin
Lawrence Stroll’s entry there was going to major changes at the top, too and this time Otmar Szafnauer took the hit which eventually forced him to leave Aston Martin for Alpine. He, in of his interviews, said, “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.”
“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.” As reported by gpfans.
Otmar Szafnauer didn’t deserve the kind of sending off he got after the kind of effort that he had put in to make Force India a highly competitive team. But this teaches us how competitive and cruel Formula 1 is.