Aston Martin Formula 1 boss Otmar Szafnauer has played down rumours he could be set for a shock move to Alpine as “pure media speculation”.
French media reported earlier this week that Szafnauer is poised to leave Aston Martin and take up a senior role at midfield rivals Alpine.
The report further claimed the move could be announced as early as this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, but neither team has been willing to comment on the matter.
Szafnauer has been with the Silverstone-based outfit since 2009 through its various guises, playing a major part in its rise from back markers to race winners.
Following Lawrence Stroll’s takeover to save the team from administration in mid-2018, Szafnauer was appointed as team principal and CEO.
He oversaw its transition from Racing Point to Aston Martin for this year as the team has its sights set on becoming title contenders in the long-term.
Taking to his Instagram account, Szafnauer wrote a response to the speculation linking him with a role at Alpine next year.
“My Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team communications staff have correctly issued a spokesperson’s statement to the effect that rumours linking me to Alpine F1 Team are merely ‘speculative conjecture’ and that they would not therefore comment further,” Szafnauer said.
“However, since the rumours have now been sensationalised on certain websites, creating a spiral of misinformation, I have taken the decision proactively to confirm hereby that the rumours are pure media speculation and not based on fact.”
Alpine CEO Laurent Ross recently hinted further changes to its management would be made for 2022 after the French outfit’s recent decline in form.
Having parted company with former team principal Cyril Abiteboul before the start of the season, Alpine hired Suzuki’s MotoGP boss Davide Brivo as racing director.
While Abiteboul was never directly replaced, it is understood Brivio is considering returning to MotoGP, opening up a vacancy in the team’s senior management.