Alain Prost has left his role as a non-executive director at the Alpine Formula 1 (F1) motor racing team.

His departure follows that of the team’s executive director Marcin Budkowski, with reporting that former Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer will be brought on board to replace Budkowski.

Prost, a four-time F1 drivers’ champion, joined the team in an advisory role in 2017 when it was known as Renault, before being moved into the directorial position in 2019.

The news of him leaving the team was reported yesterday (January 17) by Formula 1’s official website, which suggested Alpine had opted against renewing an annual contract with the Frenchman for 2022.

However, in a subsequent Instagram post, Prost said he had refused an offer “because of a personal relationship”.

He said: “I am very disappointed how this news has been announced … It was agreed that we would announce together with [the Alpine F1 team].”

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Prost added that the emergence of the news in this way had validated his decision.

Alpine is undergoing a revamp of its management, with the team currently under the stewardship of temporary chief executive Laurent Rossi.

Rossi took on the role in January 2021 with the original intention of reviewing operations before making any major changes.

At the same time, Cyril Abiteboul left the team principal position.

Alpine finished fifth in the F1 constructors’ championship last year.