Franz Tost has announced that he after the disappointing opening weekend in Bahrain lost confidence in his coaching staff.
Red Bull’s sister team returned from Bahrain without points. Yuki Tsunoda fell just outside the points with his eleventh place in the final result, while Nyck de Vries had to settle for fourteenth place. However, team boss Franz Tost does not pass the blame on to his drivers, but to his technical staff.
Yuki has made a big step forward this winter, and not just in terms of riding. His feedback on the technical front is very good and I must say he was competitive throughout the race. I think he managed to get the most out of the car.
Unfortunately I think the performance of the car is the problem at the moment. We expected a better car, he said during the press conference in Jeddah.
We had a hard time in Bahrain. We still have a lot of work to do to make the car faster, especially aerodynamically. There are several programs running and my engineers tell me we are making progress but I don’t trust them anymore.
During the winter they told me that the car is fantastic, that we have made a lot of progress. Then we went down to Bahrain and we were nowhere. What should I say about that?
Too little downforce, which is why the car is not stable under braking, the rear tires overheat, it slides away from the apex and there is no traction. Everything you need to set up a good round. I just want to see a good lap time because that’s all that matters.
The Friday of the Saudi Arabian GP started a bit better with a tenth fastest time for Tsunoda and a thirteenth fastest time for de Vries after the first practice session, but after the second practice session they ended the day in a disappointing thirteenth and seventeenth place.
Tost puts further pressure on his coaching staff, stating that they need to give their drivers a better car and then the results will follow. They have proven in the past that they can win championships, said the Austrian.
Nyck is still learning. If he has a good car he will be there. You know, as a newcomer it’s even harder when there are problems with the car.
It’s easier to be competitive with a better car. So it’s up to the team to take care of it. I now want us to move in the right direction with the next steps, to improve the performance of the car, to be able to do that.
Normally AlpaTauri comes with a few updates in the next races and Tost hopes that there will be an improvement. When asked whether the criticism of his technical staff is a loving kick in the ass, Tost answered clearly: I don’t care, I just want a fast car. Whether it’s ‘tough love’ or not doesn’t matter to me at all.