Nov.26 (GMM) Franz Tost has played down the likelihood that he will remain connected to Formula 1 as a team consultant to Alpha Tauri.
Coinciding with a full team rebranding for 2023, the junior Red Bull team’s long-time boss Tost, 67, is stepping down after this weekend’s Abu Dhabi finale.
“Two years ago I told Didi Mateschitz that when I was 70 I would no longer be standing in the pitlane,” he told Kronen Zeitung newspaper in Abu Dhabi.
“He didn’t believe it at the time, but I started looking for successors, which we now have with Peter Beyer and Laurent Mekies,” the Austrian added.
“There’s a chance to reach a new level next year.”
When he announced his retirement several months ago, Tost hinted that he might remain partly involved as a part-time team consultant.
He now steps away from that suggestion.
“With Peter as CEO and Laurent as team boss, we have two excellent people who will lead the team in their own way,” said Tost. “I don’t think it’s right to stand next to them and say ‘do it like this, do it like that’.
“I prefer to let them do it. And I am convinced that they are going in the right direction.”
So when the new season kicks off early next year, where will Franz Tost be?
“Definitely skiing,” he smiled.
“Up until now, I was only able to go on Saturday or Sunday – and then it sometimes rained. Then there were tests and the first races. When I got home, the ski season was over.
“Now I’m looking forward to the freedom of being able to decide when I go. If I see there is powder snow, I’ll just head up the mountain.”
When asked if spending the weekend saying goodbye has been emotionally painful, however, Tost answered: “At the moment, no.
“We’re still fighting for seventh place in the constructors’ championship, which we take very, very seriously. So I’m still fully integrated, and I probably also will be in the next week, because it’s also about handing over the team properly so that we are optimally positioned for 2024.
“I don’t know exactly what it will look like in January,” Tost admitted. “In 18 years as a team principal, I have gotten to know and appreciate a lot of people.
“It could be that by then I feel a little melancholy and miss these people.”