Daniil Kvyat, Franz Tost, Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri launch event, 2020

Tost targets top five for AlphaTauri after “big progress” from Honda

2020 F1 season

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AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost says Honda has made “big progress” with its power unit over the winter and has targeted a top five finish in the constructors’ championship for his team.

The former Toro Rosso team presented its new livery at an event in Hangar-7 and published pictures of its new AT-01 chassis. “We have a fantastic partner with AlphaTauri and I am really convinced that AlphaTauri will have a successful season,” said Tost.

“We are very optimistic for this season,” he explained. “First of all, the car showed very good results in the wind tunnel.

“For a second Honda, our friends in Japan, in Sakura, made big progress during the winter months from the performance side as well as from the reliability side.

“Third, we have two good drivers. They showed that already last year, we just missed the middle of the podiums.”

AlphaTauri will also continue to use some of the same hardware as Red Bull. “We have a very close relationship with Red Bull Technologies. We have the complete rear suspension from them, we have the gearbox from them, the hydraulics, the front suspension. That means also from the mechanical side, we are very competitive.”

Toro Rosso equalled its best constructors’ championship position in its final season last year with sixth place. Tost expects the team can go one better this year.

[smr2020test]”We must be within the first five in the constructors’ championship,” he said. “Our biggest competitors is usually Renault, McLaren, Racing Point and Haas. And the rest we will see.”

Tost said the team is waiting for further details of the new rules for the 2021 F1 season before advancing its work on the new regulations which will come into force next year.

“We started in October last year with a concept group working on the ’21 car,” he said. “Now we must wait until the technical regulations will be finalised. I hope this will be the case [in] March.

“And then from month to month, more and more people, our engineers will jump over to the ’21 project. But we must not forget this season 2020 and we also want to develop this car because as I just mentioned a few minutes ago, we must be competitive and we must really show good results.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 11 comments on “Tost targets top five for AlphaTauri after “big progress” from Honda”

    1. interesting comment on Honda, lets hope its true that they are even more powerful and maintain reliability.

      1. mpm, the thing is, Tost has routinely made bold predictions for several years running about Toro Rosso’s performances that have ended up being rather wide of the mark – except when Tost refused to give a performance goal at all in 2019.

        In 2018, Tost made pretty similar comments about Honda, claiming that they were “convinced they will supply us with a very competitive package”. The implied target that season was at least 5th place, and possibly 4th, given they wanted to “lead the midfield pack”, with Force India’s 4th place in 2017 being a benchmark performance – Toro Rosso were 9th in the WCC that year.

        Back in 2017, Tost said that his target was to finish 5th in 2017 and to then repeat that in 2018, whilst explicitly referencing Force India’s 4th place in the 2016 WCC as a target for Toro Rosso: they managed to finish in 7th place.

        In 2016, Tost talked about wanting to score podium finishes with the team and targeted 5th place in the WCC again, which was the same goal they had in 2015. Instead, they delivered three 6th places and only 7th in the WCC that year, whilst in 2015 they also fell short of their goal of 5th place, instead ending up in 7th place.

        I’m finding it a little difficult to find their goal for 2014, but their goal in 2013 was 6th place – when they only achieved 8th place in the WCC.

        Over the past seven years, Tost has consistently made similar comments to the ones he has made in this article – that the team has “made big progress” during the winter and that they’ve able to utilise their relationship with Red Bull to maximise their performance.

        However, Tost’s pretty consistently been predicting that Toro Rosso would be much stronger than they have actually been since at least 2013 – given the team has usually finished two places lower than Tost expected, if he’s aiming for 5th, they’ll probably end up in 7th.

        1. Fifth does seem a tad optimistic unless Honda has really pulled off some magic. Might be tight enough in the mid-field that they place seventh but it’s a seventh that is close to sixth and fifth.

        2. I laughed at your last paragraph (and the preceding information that it is based on), anon. So Tost’s predictions are precise, though not accurate :)

        3. Marco, afair, was mentioning few days ago, they aiming to make Alpha Tauri a full speed team from current playground for younger drivers.

    2. Toro Rosso or AlphaTauri call them what you (sorry Red Bull) will, they are nothing but a B team who are only their to help Red Bull win – Let’s get serious, if either DK or PG were in front of Verstappen or even Albon, do you think they would be allowed to stay there at the finish? Well we all know they won’t – So what are they in F1 for, to win, no, so in my, not so humble opinion, they should be kicked out of F1 and Red Bull get on with things on their own.

      1. I’d be surprised to see an AT car ahead of a Red Bull car near the end of a race, especially on the basis of merit, but if it were to happen that an AT car was ahead because it was faster, say on the last lap, and there was a podium place up grabs, then I can’t see AT giving their driver the order to let the Red Bull car go by. Where’s the respect in that? Fans are much more likely to respect AT as a credible team if their drivers were to beat an RB to the finish line. Red Bull should have got their driver passed the AT car earlier in the race. Yes, it did happen that Toro Rosso drivers didn’t put up much of a fight at the start of a race when there was a Red Bull behind them (often because of a penalty), and I’d expect AT drivers to continue doing that, but they didn’t put up much of a fight at the start when there was a Mercedes or a Ferrari behind them as well. The reason being is that car would normally have Qualified ahead of the TR.
        If it does happen that AT suddenly find themselves on the front row of the starting grid at Melbourne, then I’m pretty sure Tost would be saying to his drivers, “You can win this, and we want second place as well. There’s no easy passes today!”.

    3. 5th would have to be the target for Alpha Tauri, Racing Point, Alfa, Haas and Williams but a lot would depend on Renault.

      If they mess up (again) and show no improvement either in PU or chassis, then the remainder of the field gets a crack at 5th (or even 4th if the Renault PU proves to be massively unreliable) as they’ll have most likely brought improvements.

      If not, I think it would be safe to assume 4th and 5th will be McLaren and Renault (in either order) and the remainder will be battling very closely for 6th.

      1. I think it would be safe to assume 4th and 5th will be McLaren and Renault (in either order) and the remainder will be battling very closely for 6th.

        @dbradock – I think that is a very sound assessment given the evolutionary regs for 2020.

    4. “Our biggest competitors is usually Renault, McLaren, Racing Point and Haas. And the rest we will see.”
      – He forgot to mention Alfa, though. I’d replace Haas with them.

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