AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost has said that he does not have trust in his engineers’ abilities to turn their 2023 challenger around quickly.
The Italian team have not made the performance jump they expected to after a disappointing 2022 season. The AT04 lacks the downforce needed to make it go faster and seems to be lagging behind its rivals in midfield .
Speaking to PlanetF1 at the Saudi Arabian GP press conference, he said:
“Unfortunately, I think it’s currently the performance level of the car because we expected a much better car, (but) we struggled in Bahrain. It looks a little bit different here. I hope that at least we’re with one car in Q3. But we have to do a lot of things to make the car faster, especially on the aerodynamic side, there are different programmess going on.”
“The engineers tell me we make some good progress, but I don’t trust them anymore. I just want to see the lap time because this is the only thing that counts. Because during the winter months, they (the engineers) told me, ‘the car is fantastic; (we) made big progress’; then we came to Bahrain, and we were nowhere. What should I say?”
“I just want to see a fast car whether tough or not”- AlphaTauri team principal
The AlphaTauri team boss said that he just wants to see his cars going fast and isn’t too bothered about reliability for now. He said:
“I don’t care about that. I just want to see a fast car whether tough or not. I simply don’t care. There’s not enough downforce, therefore the car is unstable under braking and overheats the rear tyres. Washing out at the apex, that (impacts) traction. Everything that you need to do a good lap time.”
“Here in Jeddah the characteristic of the race track is completely different, and both drivers are not satisfied with the car but satisfied that the car feels better than in Bahrain. Still (we) have some understeer problems that we have to get rid of, and the rest we will see.”
Despite being one of the slowest cars in qualifying in Bahrain, AlphaTauri did show some decent race pace as Yuki Tsunoda finished just a second off tenth-placed Alex Albon.
It will be fascinating to see if AlphaTauri get closer to their rivals in Jeddah, where the track layout is different from Bahrain.