Franz Tost discusses AlphaTauri’s uncompetitive season last year and their 2023 goals

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AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost looks back at the shortcomings of last year’s AT03, while also setting the team’s expectations for the upcoming season.

Franz Tost
Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

2022 was a difficult season for AlphaTauri, with the italian outfit struggling to maximise the performance of their car. Their resulting 9th place constructors’ championship finish was a hard pill to swallow for the Red Bull sister team.

Franz Tost digs into the causes behind their lack of performance, citing an overweight car as a major contributing factor. He also claims a lack of aerodynamic performance was a key cause to their difficult season.

“Last year we were not competitive.” Tost said. “Last year we were struggling. Last year our car was too heavy. We were not good enough on the aerodynamic side, and we made some other mistakes. I hope we can prevent [that] this year.

“From the weight everything is fine. We are on the limit. As I mentioned before, on the aerodynamic side we made good progress. The aerodynamic team did a really good job.”

AlphaTauri AT04 on track at 2023 Bahrain pre season testing
Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

“I think the first clear picture we will have [will be] after the first three races.”

Despite Tost’s clear confidence in the progress AlphaTauri have made, he, like many others around the paddock, was unwilling to predict how their improvements will affect performance. Instead, he says they will wait to see how they perform on track once the season gets underway.

“We always must see how good our direct rivals will be. I think the first clear picture we will have [will be] after the first three races. Bahrain is a little bit of a special race, Saudi [Arabia] as well. Then we go to Melbourne and I think that afterwards we will have quite a good picture [of] how competitive we will be.

“I think that our engineers did good work…”

Tost was also quizzed on AlphaTauri’s targets for the 2023 season. While this is a difficult question to answer so early, and with the team being joined for the first time by Nyck DeVries, Tost shared his “realistic” goals.

For Tost, a top 6 finish in the constructors’ championship would be a reasonable goal for the team, while he admits he wouldn’t be upset should the team manage to crack the top 5.

“It depends how good [the car is].” Tost quipped when asked about the team’s expectations. “I think that our engineers did good work during the winter months, at least what we can see on the data. But we have to prove this at the racetrack.

“Nevertheless I expect that we will be, realistically, within the first six. Five is a little bit difficult but I will not cry if this is the case. Within the first six is our target.”