Franz Tost argues the case of customer cars
It looks like the general dissatisfaction in the Red Bull camp goes far beyond the usual whinge bags of Christian Horner and Helmut Marko. Franz Tost, the team boss of Toro Rosso, who came close to embarrassing the mothership in Melbourne is not best pleased with the state of affairs either.
Toro Rosso obviously evolved from the much loved Minardi team, but they only survived the early years was because they used the hand-me-down chassis of the Big Bulls. Infamously, Seb Vettel scored the first win for STR before a Red Bull driver ever climbed to the top of the podium. He did so in 2008 in what was essentially a 2007 Red Bull chassis.
Dietrich Mateschitz has consistently funded the Faenza squad in minimalistic fashion. Despite being the red-haired bastard child in the Red Bull camp, Toro Rosso have provided several drivers for the mother ship – with Vettel being the most prominent.
Franz Tost now reveals that the concept of using the previous year’s Red Bull chassis has been destroyed by the same teams that these days revert to contract fraud, hiring useless eyecandy or stab other teams in the back in a desperate bid to survive.
“If you look at the industry these days, all the manufacturers work together,” Tost explains in an interview with Motorsport Total. “In a BMW you’ll find parts from other manufacturers, for instance a Peugeot engine. They work together to reduce costs. That’s what we had in mind when working with Red Bull Technologies. That was our model five years ago, but they destroyed it. Those you were opposed back then are the ones who are now in trouble.”
Looking at the history of F1, the concept of customer cars is as old as the series, as outlined in Fat Hippos Rant two years ago. Sir Frank Williams started his team buying chassis’ from Brabham, de Tomaso and March.
But, alas, the Strategy group is too busy deciding how often drivers might be allowed change their helmet designs and visit the toilet.