AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost has much to celebrate in the first half of the current Formula 1 season, but he’s also frustrated that his team hasn’t seized on its chances to do even more.
Pierre Gasly has qualified in the top three rows on three of the 11 races to date, and went on to finish in third place in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the start of June.
But with Alpine’s dramatic race win in Hungary, the AlphaTauri team has slipped down to sixth place in the constructors championship with Gasly currently eighth in the drivers standings.
- Read also: Gasly ‘should have been looking at a podium’ in Hungary
That means when giving the squad an overall rating for the season to date, Tost is only willing to give it half marks.
“It’s in the middle, I would say a five,” he said. “A five means out of 10, so there is still another 50 per cent to improve.
“We had some really good races, some highlights. When I look generally to the start of the season, we were very competitive, like we are now as well.
“The last three races I’m not so satisfied, because we scored only four points and this of course was not enough.
“We have very strong teams near to us, with Aston Martin and Alpine, and we have to get it together to finish in fifth position.
“The potential is there to finish fifth in the constructors’ championship, but of course we have to get it together.”
When it comes to the drivers, there’s no question who the star performer has been in 2021 who has been brining home the lion’s share of the points.
“Pierre is doing a fantastic job,” Tost agreed. “He is driving really on a very, very high level, and he shows the potential of the car.”
His rookie team mate Yuki Tsunoda has had a more up-and-down time since making his bow in Bahrain in March, but Tost remains convinced the Japanese driver will come good.
“We are on a good way with Yuki. He is learning fast, and sometimes maybe he’s a little bit too motivated.
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“It’s a big challenge to be in Formula 1 and to become a successful racer in there,” the 65-year-old Austrian former racing driver pointed out. “We have to give young drivers the time.
“To become successful in Formula 1, you have to work very, very hard, and you have to be disciplined,” he said. “The young drivers have to learn.
“Just to come from another category and sit in the car, thinking you can drive without doing any mistakes and you will be immediately successful, is dreaming on the wrong side.”
Tost has recently relocated Tsunoda to Faenza to work more closely with him, and the driver says he’s benefitting from the greater attention.
“Before I moved to Italy, I trained of course but I mostly played video games,” he told Motorsport.com. “Most of the time I spent in front of the screen.
“I could use some more discipline,” he added. “Lately I try to think more about racing and with that we have already found a few different things and improved them for the next race.
“[Now] I’m spending a lot of time with engineers, more than I normally would so it’s really a good thing,” he said. “I feel I’m making steps every race.”
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