F1 | AlphaTauri Team Principal, Franz Tost, "Our Target Is To Consistently Be At The Top Of The Midfield"
Team principal, Franz Tost, after a fruitful first year of racing as Scuderia AlphaTauri, in which they scored their highest points as a team to date, to discuss the upcoming 2021 season
When asked about their rookie year in collaboration with AlphaTauri, Franz Tost mentioned, "We have a fantastic relationship with AlphaTauri and we cooperate very closely. Our philosophies are quite similar, namely to strive for functionality and innovation. At Scuderia AlphaTauri we pay a lot of attention to the development of the car, always aiming for high technology and innovation. This means constantly researching new ways to improve, something AlphaTauri also does with their products. Our way of thinking is very similar, which makes our teamwork really easy.”
Scuderia AlphaTauri's first year under their new name was a strong one: the highest number of points ever, a record of 10 points finishes in a row and scored in 15 of last season's 17 races. Are you happy and ready for more, even though the team was striving for a higher final spot in the Constructors Championship? According to Tost, "We had a reasonably good season in our first year as Scuderia AlphaTauri and we improved in many aspects. The aerodynamic side has made good steps in the right direction but also the design office enhanced all procedures to smoothen the workflow and achieve targets better and quicker. On the operational side, we have again made a big step forward and had very fast pitstops, which helped us to achieve quite good results throughout the year."
With all the effort the team has put into a good car, Pierre Gasly's maiden win was achieved as the highlight of their season in Monza. Although the team retired four times, three of them because of reliability problems and once because of an accident in which Gasly was involved, meaning the loss of chances to score points.
When talking about drivers, they have an experienced Pierre Gasly, who won a race and knows the team dynamics very well and a newcomer, Yuki Tsunoda, who made it to F1 after just a year in F2, who has a lot to learn. Why has it been determined that this line-up should go? According to Tost, "For this season we are running an interesting driver pairing. We have an experienced driver and a rookie. Pierre is one of the strongest drivers in F1 nowadays. Pierre’s good technical understanding allows him to get the best out of the car. Pierre has been with the team for some time now, so he is familiar with all procedures and with our way of working, he will be a good leader, helping Yuki in his development. He knows how to win a race. Yuki, who finished third in the F2 Championship and watching his races last year in F2 I must say he did a fantastic job, winning races and carrying out many impressive overtaking manoeuvres. Yuki has already completed some tests with us in an F1 car and I’m convinced that he will have a successful start in his F1 career, due to his natural speed and his talent."
The decision to go for Pierre and Yuki in 2021 was made because of the philosophy of Scuderia AlphaTauri to give promising young Red Bull Junior drivers the chance to step up to F1.
What is the benefit of having Pierre as a team-mate? Tost answered, "Pierre is a very high skilled driver and he now also has the necessary experience to be a leader in the team and for Yuki. Every driver compares themselves with their teammate so the better the latter is, the more you are pushed to improve yourself."
In all aspects, Yuki can learn a lot from Pierre which are very significant especially which are new to Yuki. If you have a good and experienced teammate, it helps you improve your own results.
With this being Honda's last year in F1. Tost expressed the development and expectations for this year and years to come, "It’s a shame that Honda stops at the end of this year because the engineers in Sakura did a fantastic job over the past years and currently the Honda Power Unit has reached a really high level of competitiveness, while also being reliable. This year we get a further development of Honda’s PU and I expect that this will also improve the performance of both Scuderia AlphaTauri and Red Bull Racing.”
It was announced that Red Bull Powertrains Ltd. will take over the Power Unit technology from Honda at the beginning of 2022, so for Scuderia AlphaTauri moving forward, as stated by team principal,"Honda has relentlessly invested in hybrid technologies. The relationship has always been fruitful and enjoyable and teh team's decision to pull out at the end of 2021 was very disappointing. However, we are very happy to hear this partnership will not end as we coninue to use Honda Power Unit from the beginning of 2022 with the newly-born Red Bull Powertrains Limited".