In an exclusive interview for the Austrian Media outlet Speedweek, Franz Tost of Toro Rosso tells all about his outgoing and incoming drivers.
Franz, let’s talk about the drivers 2018. What is your assessment of Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley?
“Pierre did a very good job. The Frenchman scored 29 points and I am delighted that he will be driving at Red Bull Racing next year. Brendon Hartley has only four points in his account. There is not much more to comment on that.”
Gasly moves from Toro Rosso to Red Bull Racing. How do you think he will go against Max Verstappen there?
“It certainly takes a few races to get used to the way RBR works. Pierre will also receive their assistance, however.”
A look ahead to the duo Daniil Kvyat and Alex Albon. Why do you think the return of the Russian and the debut of the Thai-British is right? What speaks for these two?
“Daniil Kvyat is much better than the results of 2017 showed. Daniil learned a lot in 2018, he has matured and is extremely motivated.”
“Alex Albon showed very good races in Formula 2 this year, so he is fast, still young at the age of 22, which means he fits exactly to Toro Rosso. The championship he finished in third place. He will provide positive surprises.”
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At the request of Honda, will there be a Japanese driver in the Toro Rosso, perhaps a test driver or as a reserve?
” Yes, the assignment of a Japanese driver is clearly on our agenda. When that will depend on the performance of the Japanese pilots. “
We are facing a 2019 season with modified aerodynamics: other front and rear wings, modified air deflectors, all to make overtaking easier and thus improve the show. Is Formula 1 racing boss Ross Brawn right or is this the wrong approach?
” We do not know yet and it is difficult to estimate. The races will show if the approach was right or wrong.”
What shifts in the balance of power do you expect for the 2019 season?
“I’m afraid there will not be much change in the short term. Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing drive in their league; Of course I hope that RBR wins as many races as possible with Honda. Toro Rosso has to improve in any case.”
Team owner Gene Haas speaks of a Formula 1.5 when he looks at the racing teams behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing. How can we get rid of this two-tier society in the medium term?
” By cutting costs and distributing funds more fairly. Liberty Media and everyone involved know the subject. Until 2020, there will be little change due to existing treaties, but for 2021 and beyond, decisions must be taken to ensure that the field is balanced. “