Franz Tost axes AlphaTauri engineer he ‘didn’t trust’ after slow start to 2023

Sam Cooper
Franz Tost speaking during a press conference. Saudi Arabia, March 2023.

Franz Tost speaking during a press conference. Saudi Arabia, March 2023.

Franz Tost is back to trusting his own engineers after a troublesome figure is “out”, according to the AlphaTauri team boss.

The Austrian took the unusual tactic of openly criticising his engineers shortly before the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, going as far as saying he no longer trusted them after promises made during the winter break had not proved accurate.

“The engineers tell me we make some good progress but I don’t trust them anymore,” Tost said in Jeddah. “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 are nowhere.”

AlphaTauri started 2023 pointless at the first two races before Yuki Tsunoda earned the team’s first point at the Australian Grand Prix but their form has picked up since then with Tsunoda again finishing within the top 10 in Baku.

That still only puts them in P9 in the Constructors’ Standings, just one point ahead of Williams who have also looked quick on occasion.

As to why AlphaTauri seem to be running a bit more smoothly, at least on one side of the garage, Tost said the answer was simple, someone has lost their job.

“The person I didn’t trust anymore is out, as you can imagine, and the others I trust,” he said during the team bosses’ press conference before the Miami Grand Prix. “Totally easy. And they do a good job.” recommends

Franz Tost ‘doesn’t trust’ AlphaTauri engineers anymore after off-season claims

AlphaTauri respond to Ferrari’s aggressive announcement accusations

Franz Tost and AlphaTauri refuse to name names

Of course when any team principal responds like that, the follow up question on everyone’s mind is always going to be: who has got the sack?

Tost was not pressed on the matter during the conference but has reported that it is head of aerodynamics Dickon Balmforth who has fallen on his sword.

Balmworth joined AlphaTauri in May 2018 having previously spent 12 years at Red Bull and before that almost three years at Williams.

AlphaTauri are looking to arrest a downward trend in performance in recent years, after falling from sixth in the 2021 Constructors’ Championship to ninth last year, and a slow start to this season.