Monday, May 27, 2024

Belgium Points Finish proof that Aero Development ‘Going in the Right Direction’ – Franz Tost

Franz Tost says it was pleasing to see one of his Scuderia AlphaTauri cars finish inside the top ten in Sundays Belgian Grand Prix, with Yuki Tsunoda ending a run of seven races without a point for the Faenza-based squad.

Tsunoda ran as high as sixth at Spa-Francorchamps as others pitted, and he was unable to keep some of those faster cars behind him in the final stint.  However, the Japanese racer was able to take tenth place, the first time he or the team had scored a point since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the end of April.

Daniel Ricciardo paid for losing his best lap time in Qualifying for exceeding track limits by being stuck in traffic virtually all afternoon long on Sunday, with the Australian unable to better sixteenth.

Tost, who will leave his role as Team Principal at AlphaTauri at the end of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, feels the development of the AT04 appears to be heading in the right direction as they were able to finally break their run of pointless races and show themselves to be competitive amongst the midfield in Belgium.

“We started the race with Yuki in P11 and Daniel in P19, so we decided to split the strategy between the two cars: Yuki started on the medium compound, and Daniel on the soft tyre,” said Tost.  “Yuki managed a fantastic start and ended up in P8, keeping his position for a very long time.

“I think some cars were staying out, postponing their pitstop, just waiting for more rain to come later in the race. Yuki was in P6 at one point, but of course, certain other cars were faster and could overtake us. In the end, Yuki finished P10 and scored one point for the team, which is very important.

“What is even more relevant is that the aero development is going in the right direction, and this is evidence of the fact that people in Bicester are doing a good job.

“As for Daniel, he started towards the back of the grid today as his lap time got deleted in qualifying on Friday, because of violating track limits in Turn 4. It’s a shame as he showed great performance yesterday, being close to scoring a point in the Sprint race.

“Starting further back today was really difficult because it’s really hard to overtake. We still miss some load on the car, but I’m convinced that when Daniel is more familiar with the car and tyres, he’ll do a really good job.

“In general, the team did a very good job. We haven’t scored a point in a long time, so we’re very pleased and are looking forward to the second half of the season because I think we can still improve our performance.”