[F1 “rock” Permane deserves respect of entire pitlane, say top bosses
Following last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, Permane and team principal Otmar Szafnauer parted company with Alpine following differences of opinion between themselves and the senior management of the French sportscar manufacturer over the squad’s direction.
It brings to an end Permane’s remarkable 34-year career at the Enstone-based squad, where he was central to its success through numerous identities as Benetton, Renault and Lotus.
But while Alpine’s management felt Permane was no longer suited to its own future, rival teams have singled out the Briton for praise and thinks he is exactly the type of person that many squads would be interested in having on board.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said that any team would be foolish to think that it could not benefit from tapping into Permane’s experience and knowledge.
“Alan Permane is one of the rocks of F1,” he said. “He is one of the longest standing senior engineers in the sport, and certainly someone with a lot of knowledge.
“I don’t know about the ins and outs of the management reshuffle there, but there is a lot of very respectable people in there. And definitely, you shouldn’t discount anyone of that seniority.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner added that Permane deserved a huge amount of respect in the paddock for all he had contributed over the years.
“Whilst I’ve never worked with Alan Permane, I think sometimes there has to be respect shown for somebody that’s put in 34 years of hard graft and been involved in world championships with Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso,” he said.
Permane has been part of Team Enstone’s biggest successes, pictured after a 1-2 for Renault at Sepang in 2006
Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images
“He has also been a steady hand during periods of that team going into administration, and out of administration, and into different ownership and so on.
“He’s very much been a constant there during that period. I think that earns respect and recognition, and I’m sure he’s a guy, like with Otmar, that won’t find themselves out of work.
“It won’t be the last you’ve seen of them in the pitlane, no doubt about that.”
Alpine said that it elected to split with Szafnauer and Permane because it felt that their predictions of how long it would take for the team to win in F1 were not ambitious enough, as it thinks success can be achieved much quicker.