Two mystery drivers that ‘don’t belong in F1’ identified by departing team boss

Mark Scott
Franz Tost is given a guard of honour in his final race as an F1 team boss

Franz Tost: A no-nonsense F1 team boss

Sky F1 commentator David Croft has delivered the mother of all teases, saying outgoing AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost has told him two drivers that do not belong on the grid. 

Tost has a firm reputation of being a no-nonsense team boss and he stayed true to that perception even throughout his final season as the lead figure of Red Bull’s sister team.

Speaking on the latest Sky F1 podcast episode, Croft revealed an off-air moment he shared with Tost in the paddock when discussing the quality on the F1 2023 grid – but annoyingly did not give the listeners all of the juicy details.

Two mystery F1 drivers don’t belong on the grid

Croft added further intrigue by saying that the two names mentioned by Tost were ones that he personally agreed with.

“I had a fabulous exchange with him in the paddock at a race,” Croft recalled.

“We were just talking in general, sometimes you could get Franz when he had five or 10 minutes and just chew the cud of Formula 1 and we were talking about drivers.

“He said, ‘Yeah, every single driver in this paddock deserves to be in this paddock, deserves to be in Formula 1.. except two.

“I said ‘Really? Two? And who would they be? He said, blah, blah, blah, and blah, blah, bla. I’m not going to name them, but I could not disagree with a word he said about that one.

“And he then went on to explain absolutely why they really shouldn’t be in Formula 1 at the moment.

“But I’m not going to tell you who because that will be unfair of those drivers.”

Recommended reading

F1 2023 team principals ranked: Toto Wolff, Christian Horner and more rated

F1 team principals: How long has each team boss been in charge?

Franz Tost: Committed to the very last race

The comments were part of a much wider discussion about where each and every team boss ranked in Croft’s [and Sky Sports colleague Ted Kravitz’s] mind based on their respective F1 2023 performances.

On his reflections of Tost, Croft shared another paddock moment involving Tost that spoke volumes about the type of team boss he was before retirement.

He said: “One of the things that help you understand Franz Tost…I saw on the world feed before the commentary in Abu Dhabi, his last race as he sat down on the pit wall, and he got out his notebook, ready to make a load of notes!

“I was like ‘Franz why are you making notes, it’s your last race, just sit back and enjoy it!

“What are you going to do with this notebook? Unless he wants to produce a Guenther Steiner epic [book] for next year…”

With Tost stepping down as team boss of soon-to-be-renamed AlphaTauri, his replacement is former Ferrari engineer Laurent Mekies.

Read next: Red Bull’s DNA secret: Daniel Ricciardo lifts lid after Silverstone test