Franz Tost is quite open about not trusting his engineers anymore and wanting AlphaTauri to put on results after a low start to F1 2023.

AlphaTauri had a start to forget in Bahrain with both Yuki Tsunoda and new boy Nyck de Vries failing to score any points. The 2022 season was a tough campaign for the Faenza-based team and to start a new year in 2023 has only dented their confidence.

As ever, Tost has been quite open always in media and this time he minced no words to note that he doesn’t trust his engineers who promised him that they have done a good job with the car and they will be better this year than how they were last year.

Post the Bahrain pre-season test and the grand prix, Tost was left disappointed and rushed AlphaTauri into getting better with it. He reckons downforce is key for them where they lack and aerodynamic which is quite similar to what McLaren is going through.

But on the positive side, Tost feels updates in the next few races should help them a bit, as he doesn’t thing the Red Bull wind tunnel and or budget cap is affecting them in terms of performance push. But the trust gap needs to be rebuilt certainly.

2023 AlphaTauri, trust trouble –

Tost: “Unfortunately, I think it’s currently the performance level of the car, because we expected a much better car. We struggled in Bahrain, looks a little bit different here. 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. And 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. 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?”

Budget cap scenario, what is bothering –

Tost: “The budget cap does not prevent us for development work, you know, this is included in our business plan. And the question is now: do we go in the right direction? As I mentioned before, during the winter months, we saw that, at least on the paper, on a computer, we made big progress in comparison to last year’s car. But all these figures nowadays, as I mentioned before, I don’t trust them anymore. I want to see now with the next steps that we go in the right direction, that we can improve the performance of the car, that we are able to do this”.

“And this is a special design work on the on the floor, brake ducts and all the other aerodynamic parts. And I think now with all the knowledge we have after Bahrain test and after the Bahrain race, the engineers should be in a position to sort it out and to come up with new parts which improve the performance of the car. There’s 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.”

Wind Tunnel switch –

Tost: “It has nothing to do with this year’s car because we changed the wind tunnel last year. That had a big influence, but not this year.”

Initial updates and upgrades –

Tost: “We are coming up with updates to the next races. 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.”

Here’s the sponsor list for F1 2023: