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Alpha Tauri's Franz Tost reflects on legacy and talent development as retirement approaches

Posted : 31 December 2023

On a memorable day in 2008, Franz Tost, the proud F1 team principal of a small Italian-based Formula 1 team, found himself in a stationary car, engine running, absorbing instructions over the phone. Fresh from a dream victory at Monza in the pouring rain, Tost, now 67, recalls the demanding yet warm demeanor of Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz, whose unique legacy in F1 and unwavering support influenced Tost's successful tenure.


Mateschitz's support began in 2006 when Toro Rosso, now Alpha Tauri, joined the Red Bull stable. Despite fewer resources, they secured a win within two years with a then-21-year-old Sebastian Vettel. Alpha Tauri, originally designed to nurture young drivers, clinched victories at Monza again in 2008 with Vettel and in 2020 with Pierre Gasly, epitomizing their commitment to developing talent for the senior Red Bull team.


Tost reflects on nurturing champions like Max Verstappen and Vettel, highlighting their similar approaches and attitudes. The team's success extends beyond F1, with seven drivers' titles in the Red Bull talent program and championships in other motorsports worldwide. Tost credits Mateschitz for his pivotal role in shaping Alpha Tauri's journey and success since Red Bull's entry into F1 in 2005.


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The team's friendly and family-like atmosphere, a trademark of Tost's leadership, contributed to its success. Located in Faenza, Italy, the unassuming factory embodies this ethos, fostering a positive environment where guests, sponsors, and staff are treated with utmost friendliness and respect.


Looking ahead, as Tost prepares to retire, the future for Alpha Tauri seems promising under new leadership with team principal Laurent Mekies and CEO Peter Bayer. Rebranding and upcoming engine specifications in 2026 are expected to bring innovation, potentially leading to more race victories.


As Tost contemplates his post-retirement plans, he anticipates a shift from the racing world to activities he hasn't had the chance to pursue in 40 years, such as skiing. His enduring legacy and impact on Alpha Tauri, rooted in talent development and a welcoming team culture, mark Tost's remarkable journey in Formula 1.


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