Sunday, May 19, 2024

Franz Tost to Relinquish AlphaTauri Team Principal Role at end of 2023 Season

Franz Tost will step down from his role as Team Principal of Scuderia AlphaTauri at the end of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, with current Scuderia Ferrari Sporting Director Laurent Mekies to come in as his replacement.

Tost has been ever present since the team was formed as Scuderia Toro Rosso back in 2005, and he has seen the team take two victories in this time, one for Sebastian Vettel in 2008 and the second for Pierre Gasly in 2020, both at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

However, recent form has dipped, with the team currently sitting ninth in the Constructors’ Championship with only one point to their name after the opening three races of the season, the same position they finished in the standings in 2022.

Rumours have been rife over the future of the team, but it appears that whilst AlphaTauri will remain on the grid in its current form next year, they will have a new leader at the helm.

“First of all, I would like to thank Dietrich Mateschitz, who gave me the incredible opportunity to be Team Principal of Scuderia Toro Rosso and Scuderia AlphaTauri for the past 18 years,” said Tost following the announcement.  

“It has been a true privilege to lead the Team for such a long period and a great pleasure to work with so many motivated and skilled people, who share my passion for Formula 1.

“With 67 years old it is time to hand over and with Peter as new CEO and Laurent as Team Principal, we found two very professional people, who will bring the Team to the next level. I want to thank everyone for the good cooperation.”

Mekies will leave Ferrari at some point this season and will be installed as Team Principal once Tost steps away from the role, although the official dates for both have yet to be unveiled.  However, he is thankful for the opportunity to take over as Team Principal at AlphaTauri.

“Firstly, I’d like to pay tribute to Franz for the great job he has done over almost two decades in charge at Faenza,” said Mekies.  “I wish him well for the future and I know that both Peter and I will rely on his input and advice in times to come.

“Looking forward, I am honoured to take on the role of Team Principal and to return to the Team where I spent a large portion of my early career. Scuderia AlphaTauri has all of the ingredients necessary for greater success in the future and in tandem with Peter I’m looking forward to making that happen.”

Peter Bayer joins AlphaTauri as CEO

Tost will continue to work in a consultancy role with AlphaTauri, while another announcement was the arrival of Peter Bayer as the CEO of the Faenza-based squad, with his aim to oversee the strategic direction of the team.

Bayer has also thanked Tost for his dedication to the team throughout the years in Formula 1, while he is also welcoming the decision to bring in Mekies as his replacement.

“I would also like to thank Franz for his dedication to Scuderia AlphaTauri and its predecessor, Scuderia Toro Rosso,” said Bayer.  “His commitment to developing young talent has resulted in a Formula 1 grid where 25% of the drivers have benefited from his guidance.

“It is a great privilege for me, too, to take on the role of CEO at the Team and working alongside Laurent. Scuderia AlphaTauri has a fantastic team of people and great infrastructure in Faenza and in the UK.

“I am very much looking forward to building on those key elements to increase performance, on an off track, and to bring the Team even more success in the coming years.”