Pierre Gasly, Daniil Kvyat, AlphaTauri, 2020

Tost: Kvyat and Gasly is our best driver line-up ever

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In the round-up: AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost says his team, which he began running as Toro Rosso in 2006, has its best driver line-up ever this year.

What they say

Tost was asked whether he thinks Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat are his best driver pairing yet:

Yes, I would underline this, because as we know if we analyse both drivers. Daniil Kvyat has a fantastic natural speed. He won races, he won championships, just remember back in GP3. And Pierre Gasly as well, he won races, he won the GP2 championship and he drove last year in the second half of the season some fantastic races. Just remember his second place in Sao Paolo when he managed to keep Hamilton behind him one lap.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Stephen is unimpressed that Mercedes’ DAS is apparently being allowed when Renault’s innovation was outlawed last year:

Being an advocate for innovation, it is disappointing to see innovation being stifled.

Last season Renault’s race results were disqualified from the Japanese Grand Prix because they had were innovative in how they did some brake bias adjustments. This didn’t breach any technical regulations. So instead of accepting this was genuinely an innovation that could have been useful to all the teams, the stewards disqualified them for breaching the “the driver must drive the car alone and unaided” Sporting Regulation (27.1).

Now we have Mercedes being innovative, and they have the blessing of the FIA, even though to my untrained legal mind it appears the Duel Access Steering system breaches technical regulation 10.2.1: “With the steering wheel fixed, the position of each wheel centre and the orientation of its rotation axis must be completely and uniquely defined by a function of its principally vertical suspension travel, save only for the effects of reasonable compliance which does not intentionally provide further degrees of freedom.”
Stephen Crowsen (@Drycrust)

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35 comments on “Tost: Kvyat and Gasly is our best driver line-up ever”

  1. RE:CotD There was nothing innovative about the Renault system – it was just an automated way of adjusting the brake bias (which a driver can already do manually from inside the car). From an engineering point of view, this is pretty trivial. Any team could do that just as much as any team could, for example, implement a traction control system.

    The Mercedes system is different because a) toe couldn’t be adjusted on the fly before, and b) they implemented it in a way that makes it part of the steering and not the suspension system, which is why it appears to be legal. I can’t stress this last point enough, and this doesn’t really seem obvious to a lot of people: the innovation of the Mercedes system primarily lies in how it gets around the rules, not in what it does. And circumventing rules, by the way, is where 95% of the “innovation” in F1 happens.

    1. @aesto Thanks for explaining it that way. Yes, I agree, staying within the rules is one of the reason’s for innovation. It will be interesting to see whether Mercedes take it to Melbourne and whether any teams appeal the use of it.

    2. From what I remember, there is no other way to adjust toe than by the steering arm length. DAS is cool, but it is being blown up way out of proportion. The fduct was a far more worthwhile innovation in terms of lap time, and then Merc went and double down on it by making it effect the front wing as well.

    3. @aesto also, agreed about the illegal Renault auto brake bias control. It was only software which automated something that was banned from being automated. No different than if they had installed automated downshifts in the transmission. It was not ingenious or difficult, only illegal.

  2. Kvyat and Gasley is a better line up than Ric and Verne?

    Ok then…..sure

    1. Let alone Verstappen and Sainz…

      1. Yup! Came here to say Verstappen and Sainz were their best ever.

        1. Forgot about them! Also a better pairing…

        2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          23rd February 2020, 10:18

          I don’t think I agree here. Verstappen was great… for a rookie. And Sainz was a rookie too and wasn’t as good as Verstappen. I certainly don’t think that was the best pairing they had. Verstappen may have looked great at times, but most him and Sainz made quite a few silly rookie mistakes. Their rankings and hype that season was because they were rookies. The best rookie line up yes, probably the best we have had in an awful long time, and not just at that team. But vergn and Ricciardo were better and with Gasly’s come back and Kvyat looking a lot better than he was when he was dropped from Red Bull, I would say Gasly with Kvyat with their experience are stronger than Verstappen and Sainz as rookies.

        3. Does Tost have a short memory?
          Max & Carlos
          Ricciardo & Verne
          Vettel & Bourdais

      2. They never been drivers of Alpha Tauri.

        1. @regs – ha ha, that’s a nice technicality worthy of F1 :)

          1. Well you can’t argue with that :D

        2. Good point. That explains it

        3. He was not asked if they are the best drivers in the history of Alpha Tauri. That wouldn’t even make sense, because they are the ONLY drivers in the history of Alpha Tauri. He was asked if they are HIS best driver pairing yet, i. e., the best driver pairing running under Tost’s orders. So yes, he’s saying that Kvyat/Gasly are better than Max & Carlos, Ricciardo & Verne, and Vettel & Bourdais. Whether that’s true or not is arguable, of course, but that’s what he’s said.

    2. @homerlovesbeer ..AlphaTauri’s best line-up

    3. Better than Kvyat and Albon?
      They must be glad Albon got promoted away so they could lay hands on Gasly. Oh yeah.

      Fact is that Alpha Tauri is no longer the driver development team for Red Bull but rather a parking lot for their rejects.

      1. That. And more importantly an extra $175M channel for RBR R&D next year

  3. The merc system does fulfill the technical regulation 10.2.1 because when the wheel is fixed the terms listed are fulfilled. The rules do not define fixed as rotationally fixed but not axially adjustable. Just fixed. In other words the das is not used when the wheel is not moved.

    1. @drycrust

      I’m curious about why Merc revealed the system now. They could have waited till Australia for the full system and tested the toe settings separately.

      I think it will be easy enough to copy the mechanical part. The areo design will be harder. But why give everyone several weeks to adapt?

      Maybe they aren’t convinced the system is legal? Maybe they are just distracting everyone?

      1. It’s likely not taken a trivial amount of time to engineer, integrate and test. No team is going to have this before Spain if at all

        1. Henrik Møller
          23rd February 2020, 11:53

          Do they need to do a new crash test with DAS implemented? Then merc may have some extra lead time

    2. DAS is not legal, that’s why the FIA apparently tweaked 2021’s rules to make it clearly illegal. DAS like other systems on the car fall on grey areas. First of all, the rules state the suspension geometry can’t be changed on track but any time a driver moves the steering wheel the geometry is naturally changed. Drivers should drive unaided, but engine mapping is pre-determined and tuned by corner, brakes and throttle are electronic potentiometers and the steering is hydraulic, Das is probably not merely a direct mechanical linkage but it doesn’t matter, the rules are grey because they don’t make sense, makes no sense to demand to drive unaided when you can’t actually do it.

      1. Henrik Møller
        23rd February 2020, 20:45

        DAS appears legal, can you point to any rules that implies the opposite? The suspension is still having the same up-down characteristics with DAS. F1 is also about finding loopholes

  4. Wait what? Does he remember at all that mf Scott Speed was part of the team for season and half?
    Also there were years, when in STR was multiple Champ car champ, 5-time f1 champ, formula e champ, 2-time formula e champ, highly rated Verstappen and Ricciardo.
    Now you have like two demoted drivers just because there is literally noone else.

  5. Both Kvyat and Gasly have a tendency to wilt under pressure. We know Kvyat is upset by the NetFlix documentary’s lack of interest in him. Both know they have little or no chance of moving up the RB again, this could easily be their last season in F1. Franz Tost is going to do everything in his power to boost their confidence, ‘cos both will be dreading any more early morning calls from Marko.

    1. @Jon Bee Indeed. I agree with everything there.

  6. The best (and first) line-up for Alpha Tauri, that I can agree with. But best pairing for TorroRosso would have to be VER & SAI in 2015.

  7. Kvyat and Gasly is our best driver line-up ever

    In 9 races – “Unfortunately driver X hasn’t delivered, so we parted ways. Welcome Driver Y”

  8. Cotd doesn’t give context that 10.2 regards the suspension geometry, the centre of rotation and the axis of rotation, which is not altered by DAS:

    10.2 Suspension geometry : 10.2.1 With the steering wheel fixed, the position of each wheel centre and the orientation of its rotation axis must be completely and uniquely defined by a function of its principally vertical suspension travel, save only for the effects of reasonable compliance which does not intentionally provide further degrees of freedom.

    1. You can better look at 10.4 makes DAS ok but they can’t use DAS during qualifly and untill they come out parc on race day. It’s handy for during the race.

  9. The Alpha Tauri lineup is particularly strong when you consider both of them are former Red Bull drivers, let alone the championships and podiums the pair have collected. But historically that team’s had some particularly strong line ups that weren’t formed of two drivers that the ‘main’ team demoted. Most experienced lineup, absolutley. Strongest potential, arguable. But best is debatable.

  10. Doesn’t Franz say this every year? It’s basically part of the “new season starter pack”.

  11. It just isn’t. You had Verstappen & Sainz a few years back, just to name one couple.

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