Ever the racer, Franz Tost was not going to go gently into his final race as an F1 team principal – particularly when one strategy call riled him up in Abu Dhabi.
Tost recently finished a marathon stint as Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri team principal that dated back to the team’s inception in 2006, and is discussing a new role within Red Bull after he has taken a step back from full-time racing duties.
But when Yuki Tsunoda was not pulled in at the right time in Abu Dhabi, he threatened to throw his strategists’ laptops out onto the track when they did not use common sense over simulations.
Franz Tost reveals angry moment in last F1 race
Tsunoda had been running well in Abu Dhabi but an incorrect strategy call proved costly, with Tost not mincing his words about the outcome of the race – despite the result proving somewhat immaterial to the season as a whole, and the fact he would be forgiven for taking things a little more easily, though that reaction speaks to Tost’s work ethic.
Tost has already ruled out the prospect of becoming a Formula 1 pundit in future because of his views on the sport potentially being “too extreme”, and his words surrounding that moment at Yas Marina will no doubt be continuing to ring in the ears of the strategists at Faenza.
“They’ve already got over that,” Tost told F1-Insider with a laugh when told AlphaTauri engineers will be relieved that he will have left after his public criticism of them in Abu Dhabi.
“You also have to educate the engineers of the computer generation. I was angry because our Yuki Tsunoda was left out far too long at the last race in Abu Dhabi.
“A blind man with a walking stick could have seen that he had to be brought in to change tyres so as not to lose his place to Fernando Alonso.
“But the strategists just stared at their calculation programmes and believed the numbers. That was too much for me. So I threatened to throw their laptops on the road next time, but as it was my last race, it won’t happen again.
“You just have to make the computer kids realise: Computers can be an important tool, but nothing more.
“Common sense must come first, because after all, people wrote the programmes they are using.”
But when asked if that trust in computers should also apply to the drivers in the same way as strategists and engineers, Tost turned the other cheek.
“No, it’s the other way round,” he reasoned.
“Drivers should study as much data as possible in order to constantly improve. Far too often, I’ve noticed that a driver didn’t even know what car set-up his team-mate was using.
“You can only constantly improve your performance if you analyse your laps and races retrospectively.”