Jun.12 (GMM) Franz Tost admits “political reasons” were behind Mick Schumacher’s failed candidature to race for Alpha Tauri in 2023.
Haas refugee Schumacher, 24, kept his Formula 1 dream alive for this year with a Mercedes reserve seat, but Alpha Tauri boss Tost admits he wanted Mick to replace the departing Pierre Gasly.
“Until Monza it was completely unclear who would be our next driver,” Tost, who will hand over his role to Laurent Mekies for 2024, told formel1.de.
“And then, logically, I thought of Mick Schumacher,” said the Austrian, who has close historical ties with Mick’s uncle Ralf Schumacher.
“It was clear that Schumacher did not have a seat for 2023, so when I saw that we would have a spot available, I wanted to have him,” Tost added.
“It was quite a chaotic situation at the time because we had already committed to continuing with our drivers from 2022 but then suddenly Gasly was transferred to Alpine.
“I really argued for Schumacher then,” he said.
But he admits that his proposal was “rejected” when it reached the desk of Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko – with “political reasons” also in the mix.
“We’re driving with Nyck de Vries now and there’s actually nothing more to discuss,” he said.
As for the Tost-Schumacher link, Marko said Alpha Tauri is a team for Red Bull’s junior drivers and not “for personal reasons”.
However, Tost says German Schumacher is “much better than he is currently perceived by the outside world”.
But also good, the Alpha Tauri boss insists, is Dutchman de Vries.
“He’s a good driver too,” said Tost. “He is now our driver and then the discussion is over.”