AlphaTauri’s CEO admits the loss of confidence in his team’s engineers.

Franz Tost, AlphaTauri’s CEO, has acknowledged that he no longer has faith in his team’s engineers.

Tost was expecting the squad to make a significant step forward this season after a dismal season in which it dropped to ninth in the rankings and was under threat of being moved to the UK or sold off. But, early indications suggest that this will not be the case.

When asked if the results in Bahrain, where drivers Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries qualified 14th and 19th, respectively, before finishing 11th and 14th, were due to the car’s current level of performance or if the weekend had brought up unexpected problems, Tost replied: “Unfortunately, I think it’s currently the performance level of the car, because we expected a much better car.

“We struggled in Bahrain, it looks a little bit different here,” he added. “I hope that at least we are with one car in Q3, but we have to do a lot of things to make the car faster, especially on the aerodynamic side.

“There are different programmes going on, but the engineers tell me that we make some good progress, but I don’t trust them anymore. I just want to see the lap time because this is the only thing which counts.”

Asked if he really meant that he no longer trust his engineers, he said: “Yes! Because during the winter months, they told me the car is fantastic, we’re making big progress, and then we come to Bahrain, and we are nowhere. What should I say?”

As to the issues with the car, he said: “Too little downforce. Not enough downforce, therefore the car is unstable under braking, overheating the rear tyres, washing-out at the apex, bad traction. Everything what you need to do a good lap time.”

Max Verstappen Trivia Questions

This trivia question set will test your knowledge of Max Verstappen's career, personal life, and achievements in the sport of Formula One.

Asked if he expects an improvement this weekend, he replied: “Here in Jeddah the characteristic of the racetrack is completely different. And both drivers were, yeah, not satisfied with the car but said the car feels better than in Bahrain. We have still some understeering problems which we have to get rid of, and the rest, and we will see.

“We are coming up with updates to the next races,” he confirmed. “We bring something to Melbourne and afterwards also to Baku. It’s within our programme that we bring to nearly every race a small upgrade.”

When questioned if the team’s switch from its own windtunnel to Red Bull’s played a role, he said: “That has nothing to do with this year’s vehicle because the wind tunnel was modified last year. That had a significant impact in previous years, but not this year.”

Tost was asked if he would follow Toto Wolff’s credo of “tough love” at Mercedes, to which the Mercedes chief quipped, “He’s only tough!”

“I don’t care about it!” chuckled Tost. “All I want to see is a fast automobile. I don’t care if you’re tough or not.”