AlphaTauri: Constructor idea is out of date

Michelle Foster
Franz Tost AlphaTauri

AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost believes the idea of what defines a constructor is “out of date”, especially given the world’s financial situation.

The definition of a constructor has been the hot topic of this year’s championship after Racing Point arrived on the grid with a ‘pink Mercedes’.

The RP20 is basically copy of last year’s Mercedes W10 with Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto saying it is like Racing Point “copied a test”.

What they did copy, the stewards say, is Mercedes’ brake ducts.

As those fall on this year’s listed parts list, Racing Point was hit with a fine and a points deduction by the F1 stewards for breaking a sporting rule by copying.

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Tost, though, reckons the rules need to be changed.

“The personal opinion from my side is that teams should be able to buy much more from another team,” he told

“Why? Because for me this philosophy that every team must be a constructor is out of date.

“I know all the F1 purists say, ‘Ah, we must be a constructor. Every team must design everything in-house.’ The question is, and you know the engineers are saying this, but how do you finance everything?

“Because we reached such a high level on the technical side, the top teams have such a fantastic infrastructure. If someone wants to come into F1 – even the teams which are in F1, if they want to catch up – this is very difficult, and nearly impossible.

“And you spend millions. And I’m just asking, what for? I’m asking, why does every team have to have its own wind tunnel, has to have its own CFD, has to have 500-600 employees?

“OK, now there is the cost cap coming. But nevertheless in my opinion we still spend too much money, especially now under these difficult economic circumstances.

“But the regulation is how it is. Personally I still think back to the days when we came to F1 with Toro Rosso and we just got a one-year-old car from Red Bull Technology, and we could race with a third of the money.”

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Earlier this month the FIA has confirmed that there will be “amendments” made to the 2021 sporting regulations to stop car copying becoming the norm.

“We do plan with very short notice to introduce some amendments to the 2021 sporting regulations that will prevent this becoming the norm,” said Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA’s head of single-seater matters.

“This will prevent teams from using extensive parts of photos to copy whole portions of other cars in the way that Racing Point has done.

“We will still accept individual components to be copied in local areas, but we don’t want the whole car to be fundamentally a copy of another car.”

Tost says this is impossible.

“You cannot forbid that teams make photos from the other cars,” he said. “This is also as old as F1 is itself.

“The question is now, coming back now to these special brake ducts, of course you cannot make pictures from the inside, from all the small parts of the brake ducts, out on the race track.

“That means we have to get these parts to make the photos and this is now the question whether this is legal or whether this is not legal, whether you violate intellectual property rights or not. But this is not in my hands to decide. I think this is then the question the International Court of Appeal will have to answer.”

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