Constructor philosophy is out of date, claims Tost


AlphaTauri team boss, Franz Tost weighs into 'duct-gate' row claiming that the "philosophy that every team must be a constructor is out of date".

Of course, the Austrian has good reason to think that, considering his team's relationship with 'big sister' Red Bull.

The pair have always enjoyed an 'open' relationship which in the beginning saw Toro Rosso using a Red Bull chassis, indeed, 2010's STR5 was the first car actually wholly designed by the Faenza-based outfit.

The AlphaTauri AT01 uses a number of non-listed parts from its sister team but unlike Racing Point has not fallen foul of the rule that saw 2019 brake ducts deemed non-listed a year later and produces its own.

On the other hand, like Racing Point, the Faenza-based outfit is likely to gain under the token system being introduced as a result of McLaren's switch to Mercedes engines next year, teams now allowed to carry out certain modifications to their cars as part of their limited development rather than face the prospect of being stuck with the same car they ended the 2020 season with.

However, those teams currently using 2019 parts can upgrade to their supplier's 2020 version without having to use their tokens, basically giving them a 'get out of jail free' card, which is particularly galling for rivals, such as Renault, considering Racing Point's current form.

The Silverstone-based outfit currently uses the Mercedes 2019 gearbox while AlphaTauri uses Red Bull's 2019 version, consequently next season both can upgrade to the 2020 versions without having to use their tokens, a situation that, once again, has not gone down well with rivals.

At a time duct-gate has teams arguing about the sport's DNA and the true definition of constructor, Tost thinks the whole philosophy is out-dated.

"The personal opinion of my side is teams should be able to buy much more from another team," said the Austrian. "Why? Because for me this philosophy that every team must be a constructor is out of date.

"I know all the Formula 1 purists say 'ah we must be a constructor, every team must design everything in-house'," he continued, "and the question is just the engineers are saying this, how you finance everything?

"Because we reached such a high level on the technical side, the top teams have such a fantastic infrastructure, that if someone wants to come into Formula 1, even the teams which are in Formula 1, if they want to catch up, this is very difficult and nearly impossible. And you've spent millions and I'm just asking - what for? I'm asking why every team has to have his own wind tunnel, has to have his own CFD, has to have five or six hundred employees?

"We can say now the cost cap is 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 Formula 1 with Toro Rosso when we just got the one year old car from Red Bull Technology and where we could race with a third of the money."

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Published: 16/08/2020
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