Franz Tost is approaching his fifteenth season as Team Principal in Faenza. Many things changed during all those years, including the name of the team -with last season's rebranding of the former Toro Rosso team.” I didn't expect to stay here for so long, instead I'm here and I'm still happy to be here, the only thing I miss is skiing.”
Alpha Tauri had a wonderful season in 2020, scoring 107 points and its second victory at Monza. What will happen in the upcoming season? Tost is rational: he says that in normal circumstances scoring another win is impossible, but that the aim for this season is keep doing as good as, or even better than last year, since the new car- the AT02, who will be unveiled on the 19th of February at 9 CET-from the first tests has seemingly improved.
The Austrian former driver also believes we'll see an even harder midfield battle, with McLaren using the Mercedes power units, Aston Martin signing Vettel and Alonso's return to Alpine, since “the gap was often already thin.”
Tost had only kind words for his drivers, and especially for Pierre Gasly, Monza 2020 race winner and confirmed for his fifth season in F1: "I think it's good for Pierre to stay here: he loves the team, and we love him. If his driving will be on par with last season's, he will have a chance to go to Red Bull or another competitive team.”
The other Alpha Tauri seat is taken by Yuki Tsunoda, rookie in F1 who scored an overall third place in last year's F2 championship. To make him accustomed with F1 driving, and considering that the Japanese driver will only have one and a half day of testing before the first race, the team organized multiple private tests on previous F1 cars at Imola, with the goal of 3500/4000 km covered before the Bahrein tests. “That distance is important to get used to the speed and the brakes, and to understand the aerodynamics and the mechanical aspect of the car.”
The Team Principal thinks that Tsunoda's performances will surprise, stating that he's a fast learner, has a good technical knowledge and “knows how to overtake.”
Another rookie to keep an eye on for the future is, according to Trost, Mick Schumacher, who he has known since his childhood, having worked alongside Ralf Schumacher at Williams: “He deserves to be in F1 since he has shown driving intelligence, speed and has a " clean” way of driving. He will be able to win races and championships.”