Franz Tost will step down from AlphaTauri team principal role after F1 2023 as Laurent Mekies will replace him alongside Peter Bayer joining.
After Italian media reported about Mekies leaving Ferrari to likely join AlphaTauri, the move has been confirmed by the Red Bull’s sister outfit where the Italian will take over as the new team principal from 2024 onward as a replacement to Tost.
His joining date will be confirmed at a later stage after discussions with Ferrari. For Tost, he leaves the position at the end of the 2023 season after serving as the boss since the inception of the team as Toro Rosso in 2005 for about 16 years.
He will continue in a consulting position in 2024 as AlphaTauri looks for a younger blood to take the F1 team forward. Tost had indicated about leaving considering he is already 67-years-old, with not much years left in him to lead an outfit.
Mekies returns to the Red Bull family after working under Tost at Toro Rosso before moving out to join the FIA and most recently at Ferrari. He will forthe day-to-day operation of the team which includes Technical, Manufacturing, Support Function and Race Team operations.
Aiding him will be Bayer who joins AlphaTauri as the new Chief Executive Officer, who will be responsible for strategic requirements of the team at Faenza and its UK base. He worked as the F1 Executive Director and Secretary General for Sport at the FIA most recently.
The changes are aimed to solidify the long-term stability of AlphaTauri, which came under scrutiny on the back of low-key results. There were murmurs of its sale which were put down, but the Red Bull management were not too happy with its results still.
“First of all, I would like to thank Dietrich Mateschitz, who gave me the incredible opportunity to be Team Principal of Scuderia Toro Rosso and Scuderia AlphaTauri for the past 18 years,” said Tost.
“It has been a true privilege to lead the Team for such a long period and a great pleasure to work with so many motivated and skilled people, who share my passion for Formula 1. With 67 years old it is time to hand over and with Peter as new CEO and Laurent as Team Principal, we found two very professional people, who will bring the Team to the next level. I want to thank everyone for the good cooperation.”
Incoming team boss Mekies stated: “Firstly, I’d like to pay tribute to Franz for the great job he has done over almost two decades in charge at Faenza. I wish him well for the future and I know that both Peter and I will rely on his input and advice in times to come.
“Looking forward, I am honoured to take on the role of Team Principal and to return to the Team where I spent a large portion of my early career. Scuderia AlphaTauri has all of the ingredients necessary for greater success in the future and in tandem with Peter I’m looking forward to making that happen.”
Meanwhile, Bayer noted: “I would also like to thank Franz for his dedication to Scuderia AlphaTauri and its predecessor, Scuderia Toro Rosso. His commitment to developing young talent has resulted in a Formula 1 grid where 25% of the drivers have benefited from his guidance.
“It is a great privilege for me, too, to take on the role of CEO at the Team and working alongside Laurent. Scuderia AlphaTauri has a fantastic team of people and great infrastructure in Faenza and in the UK. I am very much looking forward to building on those key elements to increase performance, on an off track, and to bring the Team even more success in the coming years.”
And finally, Red Bull’s senioer management’s Oliver Mintzlaff added: “Firstly, I would like to thank Franz Tost for his hard work at Scuderia AlphaTauri and Scuderia Toro Rosso over the past 18 years. Throughout his time at the team Franz has been driven by a singular vision – the pursuit of ever more performance from machine and from driver.
“His leadership resulted in outstanding victories and in the development of some of the finest talents ever seen in Formula 1. Replacing him as he steps back has not been easy and has resulted in a redefinition of the management structure at the Team.
“I am therefore very pleased to welcome Peter Bayer as CEO and Laurent Mekies as Team Principal. Both have huge experience in top positions in Formula 1 and together I am sure they will take Scuderia AlphaTauri to even greater heights in the future.”
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