Franz Tost railed at his “stupid” strategists after AlphaTauri fell three points short of P7 in the standings, after all, even he knew a one-stopper “wouldn’t work out” for Yuki Tsunoda.
Tsunoda was voted Driver of the Day for his efforts in the season finale where he qualified sixth before bringing his AT04 home in eighth place.
It was, however, a case of what could’ve been as at one point he was comfortably running inside the top six which would’ve been good enough for AlphaTauri to snatch seventh place away from Williams in the standings.
Franz Tost lambasts AlphaTauri strategists
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher
But while his one-stop strategy did mean the Japanese driver led a Grand Prix for the first time in his career, he lost positions to Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso which cost him and AlphaTauri four points.
Tost puts the blame solely on the AlphaTauri strategists.
“I’m pissed because we were too stupid to choose a correct strategy and because I had a lot of discussions on the pit wall because I said, bring Yuki in, we’re closed slowly,” he told Sky Deutschland.
“I was told that it would work out,” he added. “It’s pure arithmetic. I actually realised straight away that it probably wouldn’t work out.
“I’ll say now: A seventh place was 100 percent realistic for Yuki. Sixth, not so much, because Perez was behind us in qualifying and was simply faster [in the race]. So you had to take that into account that he was ahead.”
He fired in again: “We messed it up because the technicians who sit in front of the computer for hours couldn’t figure out a strategy that would ultimately work.”
Tost, who intends to give his “opinion” in the post-race debrief, will then head back to Italy for his final few weeks in charge at AlphaTauri.
“I’m flying home tonight and have appointments in the office on Monday afternoon. This will continue until December 23rd or 24th, so I’m still fully occupied – until December 31,” he said.
Yuki Tsunoda defends one-stop strategy
Tost may be furious with the one-stop call but Driver of the Day Tsunoda doubts he would have achieved P6 on the day even if he’d copied the front-runners with their two-stoppers.
“It was the plan but we knew that it’s going to be difficult,” he told the media including PlanetF1.com of his strategy.
“We listened to what the tyres were saying, and they held on quite well in the first stint. That was a key moment.
“I think getting in the end what we did with the strategy itself was okay. Even if I did the same strategy as the top teams I don’t know if we’d have finished P6 anyway.”
Tsunoda says AlphaTauri can still draw positives from their season despite falling short of that P7.
“I think what we done in Abu Dhabi and the upgrades, it’s a good sign for next year as well. So, at least we got some positives and also good data as well.
“So we continue what we’ve done. Obviously not enough yet, but I know lots of things are gonna change next year. And hopefully, that will give us a step forward.”