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Franz Tost has seen his fair share of highs and lows in Formula 1. Being the team principal of AlphaTauri (previously Torro Rosso) for 18 years, Tost has seen it all. From the team’s first victory (before the senior team) in the hands of Sebastian Vettel to the disappointment of finishing last in 2010 with just 8 points. However, in his final race as AlphaTauri’s team boss in 2023, Tost left the team with a valuable lesson in race strategy after seeing how the engineers failed to show the slightest bit of ‘common sense’ with the race strategy of Yuki Tsunoda.

AlphaTauri was in a straight fight with Williams for 7th place in the constructors’ championship heading to the season finale in Abu Dhabi. They needed to score 7 points more than however many Williams scored to secure P7. Yuki Tsunoda impressed on Saturday by qualifying in 6th, making sure that the team had the best chance on Sunday. While Williams failed to score any race points, Yuki Tsunoda could only manage 4 points because of a flawed race strategy.

Franz Tost gave the strategists a lesson in common sense in Abu Dhabi

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Yuki Tsunoda started the race well, he even led the race briefly and should have finished the race where he started or 7th at worst. However, the one-stop strategy adopted by the team proved to be a blunder as he suffered a massive drop in pace coming to the end of his first stint. The consequences were evident as he lost ground to Fernando Alonso, and even Lewis Hamilton closed in on Tsunoda in the final lap.

Franz Tost expressed his frustration on the pit wall, criticizing the team strategists for what he deemed a flawed plan in the bid to secure P7. In a recent conversation with an F1 insider, Tost was asked if his team was relieved that he was not there to criticize them anymore. To this, Tost replied with a laugh, “They’ve already coped with that. You also have to educate the engineers of the computer generation. I was angry because our Yuki Tsunoda was left out for far too long at the last race in Abu Dhabi. A blind man with a crutch could have seen that he had to be brought in for a tyre change in order not to lose his place against Fernando Alonso.”

“The strategists, however, just stared at their calculations and believed the numbers. That was too much for me. So I threatened to throw their laptops on the street next time, but since it was my last race, it won’t happen again… Computers can be an important tool, but nothing more. Common sense must be at the forefront, because after all, people have written the programs by which they act,” he added.

READ MORE: Franz Tost Exposes Red Bull Founder’s Bias Towards Helmut Marko That Negatively Affected Junior Team

Having spent 3 years at AlphaTauri now, Yuki Tsunoda is willing to talk about his future goals in Formula 1.

Tsunoda insists he needs to prove he is a top driver on F1

Yuki Tsunoda started the season in what was arguably the slowest car on the grid. However, he was still able to score a few points initially, showing his ability to maintain consistency and push hard with less-than-optimal machinery. As the car improved, he started scoring more points, which eventually helped him get to 14th in the driver’s standings compared to 17th in 2022.

However, having spent 3 years with AlphaTauri, Tsunoda must be looking to make a switch to a more competitive team if not the senior Red Bull Team. Recently, Tsunoda expressed his openness to exploring options beyond his current club, with potential links to Aston Martin, especially given Honda’s involvement from 2026 onward. Tsunoda is committed to proving himself as a top F1 driver in the 2024 season with an all-out effort.

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“Next season, I think the car will be better than last year, which will give us more chances to compete in the top ten. This will be the year when I show that I have everything in me to be a top F1 driver. To make that happen, I will have to go all out and I need to be able to call on everyone’s support.”

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Do you think Aston Martin would be looking to put Yuki Tsunoda in their car outfit before the new regulations in 2026 kick in? Share your insights in the comments below.

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Written by

Veerendra Vikram Singh

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"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking." Hi there, I am Veer and I come from a family that lives and breathes football, but somehow I never could fit into that mold.
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Edited by

Arunima Bhanot