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.

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