Saudi Arabia GP | Tost not happy with AT04, says he “doesn’t trust” his engineers anymore

Spread the love

By Fernanda Álvarez

With the two AlphaTauri challengers finishing the Bahrain GP 11th and 14th, Team Principal Franz Tost accepted the team’s difficulties on the season opener and stated that the team needs “at least one car in Q3” this weekend in Jeddah.

“Unfortunately, I think it’s currently the performance level of the car, because we expected a much better car,” he said when asked about the race in Sakhir.

“We struggled in Bahrain. It looks a little bit different here. I hope that at least, we are with one car in Q3 of qualifying, but we have to do a lot of things to make the car faster. Especially on the aerodynamic side, there are different programmes going on.”

Tost also did not hesitate to point out responsibilities within the team due to the lack of performance in the AT04, after the great expectations during the winter.

“The engineers are telling me that we will make some good progress, but I don’t trust them anymore. During the winter months they told me the car is fantastic, we’ve made a big progress, then we come to Bahrain and we are nowhere. What should I say?”

The Austrian did not stop at listing the precariousness in the car, and the circumstances that keep Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries, P13 and P17, on the timesheet after Free Practice 2 in Jeddah.

“Not enough downforce. Therefore the car is unstable under braking, overheating the rear tyres, washing out at the apex, bad traction, everything that you need to do a good lap time.”

“The budget cap does not prevent us doing development work, this is included in our business plan,” he explained. “The question is now, do we go in the right direction?

As I mentioned before, during the winter months we saw that at least on the paper, on the computer, we made big progress in comparison to last year’s car.

“But all these figures nowadays, as I mentioned before, I don’t trust them anymore.

“I want to see now with the next steps, that we go in the right direction, that we can improve the performance of the car, that we are able to do this. And this is a specialist work on the floor, brake ducts, and all the other aerodynamic parts.

“I think now with all the knowledge we have after Bahrain test and after the Bahrain race, the engineers should be in a position to sort it out and to come up with new parts, which should improve the performance of the car.”

In conclusion, Tost added: “We are coming up with updates to the next races, we will bring something to Melbourne and afterwards also to Baku. It’s within our programme that we bring to nearly every race a small upgrade.”