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Monday, February 26, 2024

Tsunoda pays tribute to “greatest supporter” Tost after AlphaTauri F1 exit

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Tost has spent 18 years on the helm of the Faenza outfit previously referred to as Toro Rosso. In its position as a Crimson Bull junior crew, Tost has notably presided over Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz and Alex Albon.

He was additionally an enormous backer of Tsunoda, who in 2024 will contest his fourth season for the crew. The present AlphaTauri racer reckons Tost’s “backup” was key to him remaining on the appropriate path, saying: “Clearly, with out Franz, I am not right here [in F1]. He’s undoubtedly giving me numerous recommendation each race.

“Even within the unhealthy moments, good moments, we share with one another the happiness or unhappiness. He’s at all times the most important supporter within the crew.

“He at all times trusts my expertise, my velocity, all the pieces. Even within the first half of the season once I was struggling in my first yr, nonetheless he was believing that I can do it. With out that sort of good backup, I would not have been capable of develop as a lot as a driver.

“Most likely I’d rush far more and simply misplaced the way in which I ought to have gone. How he handled in that point was actually useful.”

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Photograph by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04

When there have been intervals of uncertainty concerning Tsunoda’s F1 future, Tost waded in to say that an F1 driver wants three seasons to show they’ll compete on the high stage.

Requested if this was a good timeline, Tsunoda replied: “First yr, there was a number of causes, however I wasn’t capable of actually present a efficiency within the first half of the season particularly.

“However from final yr, I began to get higher and my confidence getting higher. Now I’m simply actually focusing extra to be full driver, not simply be quick.

“Additionally giving suggestions for growth or how mature you will be in a troublesome state of affairs, these are my targets.

“Yearly I’m able to discover my weak spot, which is sweet factor and I’ve been simply engaged on that.”

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Throughout Tost’s tenure, the crew received the 2008 (Vettel) and 2020 (Pierre Gasly) Italian Grands Prix.

However AlphaTauri got here unstuck upon the arrival of the ground-effects rules in 2022, falling from sixth to ninth within the constructors’ championship. It was then backside all through the center a part of this season earlier than an aggressive string of upgrades paved the way in which for a late climb to eighth place.

Tost wrung out the adjustments to the aerodynamic division to arrest the dip, however after the dying of Crimson Bull co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz final yr and a change of senior administration, the long-serving boss’s exit was introduced in late April. His alternative is Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies.

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