Four-time Formula 1 World Champion Alain Prost has launched an attack on ex-Alpine boss Laurent Rossi, labelling him an “incapable leader”.

A number of senior changes have occurred at Alpine over the last handful of weeks, with Rossi being replaced by Philippe Krief as CEO of the brand.

On Friday, Alpine announced that Otmar Szafnauer and Alan Permane will depart their roles at the conclusion of the Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

Prost, who himself left the team last year, says he is “saddened” by the recent events that have unfolded within the organisation.

“First of all, I have to say how attached I am to this team,” Prost told L’Equipe.  

“Through its original name, Renault, which enabled me to race and fight for a world crown for the first time. And then through my involvement in the current structure, the Enstone-Viry association, over the last few years.  

“I love this team and to see it in this state today saddens and distresses me. It deserves better and has everything it needs to get there.

(L to R): Alan Permane (GBR) Alpine F1 Team Trackside Operations Director with Otmar Szafnauer (USA) Alpine F1 Team, Team Principal on the grid.
09.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 11, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England, Race Day.
– www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Coates / XPB Images

“I simply believe that you have to look at history to understand what went wrong. 

“If you look at the great successes of the last 30 years, you will find a simple structure, detached from an industrial organisation chart, built around three or four strong personalities, coupled with a champion driver.”

Renault rebranded to Alpine in 2021 and set out a 100-race plan to return to championship contention.

After finishing fifth and fourth in the 2021 and 2022 seasons respectively, it has endured a difficult start to 2023 and currently sits sixth in the standings.

Prost suggests that Rossi is responsible for disrupting the momentum within the team.

“Laurent Rossi is the most beautiful example of the Dunning-Kruger effect, that of an incapable leader who thinks he can overcome his incompetence by his arrogance and lack of humanity towards his troops,” he continued.

“The one who was Alpine’s boss for 18 months thought he understood everything from the start when he was totally mistaken. His management broke the momentum that had been put in place since 2016 to reach these podiums and this victory.

“It is to be hoped that the decision taken on Friday to change other heads will be a salutary electroshock for the stable.”

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