‘Teams should be able to buy much more from others’

Jon Wilde
Pierre Gasly believes his demotion from the Red Bull team last year was “pretty unfair”

AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost thinks F1’s future should involve ‘customer’ teams who are allowed to buy key parts from rival manufacturers.

Tost believes the notion of having independent constructors is outdated, given certain teams are building closer affiliations with others during the current F1 era.

One of those relationships is between AlphaTauri and Red Bull, who are under the same ownership.

Ferrari have connections with Haas and Alfa Romeo, to whom they supply engines, while the recent ‘copying’ controversy has highlighted the links between Mercedes and Racing Point.

Tost’s view is at odds with the prevailing mood in the paddock over the Racing Point case, with the FIA confirming it wants to ensure teams fully comply with the requirement to design their own listed parts.

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Franz Tost (left) on the AlphaTauri pit wall
Franz Tost (left) on the AlphaTauri pit wall

However, the Austrian told Autosport: “The personal opinion from my side is that teams should be able to buy much more from another team.

“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 Because for me this philosophy that every team must be a constructor is out of date.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, ‘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, its own CFD, 500-600 employees?’

“Okay, 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.”

Tost also questioned the FIA’s plan to rein in copying of cars via photography or other ‘reverse engineering’ techniques.

He added: “You cannot forbid that teams make photos from the other cars. This is as old as F1 itself.

“The question is now, coming back 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 not, 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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