Q & A with Franz Tost

Q. Why did Scuderia Toro Rosso choose Jaime Alguersuari?

Q & A with Franz Tost

Franz Tost: Because we expect him to be fast. We expect him to be a very measured and highly-skilled driver. When Red Bull and respectively Dietrich Mateschitz decided to run a second team, one of the main targets was to give the young drivers, especially from the Red Bull young driver programme, the chance to come into F1. And, when we decided to change the driver a couple of weeks ago, we studied all the data of the young Red Bull drivers and the result was that Jaime was the most experience, the most successful and the most measured drivers. And therefore we decided to run him. I am convinced that he will come up with a good performance and that he will be successful.

Q. And why the decision to do it here now in Budapest?

FT: We decided to run him here in Budapest because of two reasons. The first was that he knows this track very well because he was here five weeks ago with the World Series by Renault car. He drove a good race there, so he knows the track and how it is now, and how it will be this weekend. It is quite good with all the bumps and everything. We know that can be quite difficult here in Hungary.

The second reason is that we have a new aerodynamic package and we expect the car, from the performance side, will also improve. And we want to give him as early as possible the chance to get experienced in F1, and for us - it is a long-term programme. It is a long term programme, a programme that is going into next year, and thus the more races he will do this year the better he will be prepared for the future.

Q. Can you clarify how long Alguersuari's deal is for, and how many races he is guaranteed to be in the car for?

FT: It is a very easy question. That is a decision of his right foot. The faster he is the longer he will be in the car with us. And let me tell you it this way - he will be educated at Toro Rosso and then he goes to Red Bull Racing because this is the target.

I just want to add that I hear some people say he is not experienced enough. It is always a difficult question to answer about when is a driver experienced enough to come into F1. I can only say that Jaime has done so far 118 races. He won 17 races; he was 46 times on the podium. He won last year the British Formula 3 championship, and this year in the World Series he is improving his performance race by race, and the last weekend at Le Mans he finished on Saturday fourth and then on Sunday he was on the podium in third position.

It is quite a good basis to come into F1. Apart from this, as you know, the new regulations mean there is no testing any more because of financial reasons, and therefore it is not easy to bring in the new drivers into F1. You have to start them here, and I think he has a good background and he is experienced enough to do a good job.

Q. Jaime is your third extremely young driver. Is there something you like about youth?

FT: The Toro Rosso team is known for young drivers and young people - apart from the team principal! But last year we had the youngest winner of a grand prix in a Toro Rosso, and now we have the youngest driver in our team. I am proud about this and I am convinced he can do a good job.

Q. Were you in a hurry to drop Sebastien Bourdais?

FT: I would not say that we were in a hurry. We expected a better performance and a better collaboration, and as it didn't work out we had to make decisions. It was also a decision for the future, not just a decision for one or two races. Therefore, as I mentioned before, these were the reasons we did it here in Hungary.

Q. What is it a young driver brings to your team that an older driver does not bring?

FT: Most definitely a commitment, an attitude. The new generation which is coming now into F1, these are not drivers who just started racing. They have done this for 15 years, because most of them start racing after five, six or seven years in karting. It was the same with Jaime, and they are coming into F1 with a lot of experience. To be honest, we have had quite a good experience in the past with young drivers, because they are open, they learn, they are willing to listen, and they fight. So for what is the target for Toro Rosso, I am convinced that we are in the right way. An experienced driver, or an older driver, would not fit our philosophy. We are here to educate young drivers, that is the target from Red Bull, that is the target from Dietrich Mateschitz, and we have to stick to it.

Q. As he has little experience, wouldn't you have been better sticking with Sebastien Bourdais for getting better results?

FT: I only can say regarding Bourdais - last year Vettel scored 35 points and Bourdais four. This year, out of nine qualifying, I think Buemi was seven times faster. I don't know whether we would have scored more points in the future, but that is a theoretical argument and it is useless to discuss this issue. I am just looking forward. The teams, Toro Rosso and Red Bull, are looking forward to Jaime being in the car.

Q. How seriously did you look at Sebastien Loeb as a replacement for Bourdais, and will he race for you this season?

FT: Personally, I have not had any contact with Sebastien Loeb. The Loeb story is quite easy (to explain). Sebastien as you know is working together with Red Bull. He is for me the best rally driver at this stage, and he did a really good and impressive test last year with Red Bull Racing, and I can only assume that he was thinking that maybe if Bourdais is being replaced he could do some races. But he is driving in the WRC and this [Loeb racing] was from Toro Rosso's side never a plan. We are out with young drivers and therefore we didn't negotiate or discuss this.

shares
comments
Toro Rosso expects Alguersuari to shine

Previous article

Toro Rosso expects Alguersuari to shine

Next article

Theissen: BMW on top of car problems

Theissen: BMW on top of car problems
Load comments
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looked back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021