AlphaTauri’s Franz Tost: “We have had quite a successful weekend here in Turkey”
Franz Tost was happy that the decision to pit Pierre Gasly when they did enabled the Frenchman to finish the Turkish Grand Prix in sixth, despite a five-second time penalty for an opening lap, first corner collision with Fernando Alonso.
The Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda team saw Gasly finish inside the points for the first time since the Dutch Grand Prix, while team-mate Yuki Tsunoda ended down in fourteenth after a spin cost him a place inside the top ten.
Tost, the Team Principal at AlphaTauri, felt the team had a successful weekend at Intercity Istanbul Park despite the difficult conditions, and to see Gasly secure another good haul of points despite his penalty was pleasing.
“We have had quite a successful weekend here in Turkey,” said Tost. “Yesterday, we finished Qualifying with both cars in the top 10, so Pierre started today’s race in fourth, after Hamilton’s penalty, and Yuki in ninth position.
“Unfortunately, Pierre had a collision with Alonso at Turn 1, and this resulted in a five second penalty for him, which he had to serve at the first pitstop. However, he managed to keep his sixth position, as [Lando] Norris was seven seconds behind him.
“After the pitstop, he drove the sixth place home, doing a fantastic job despite today’s difficult conditions. This was the first time that the drivers have been out on the Inters for this many laps, so no one from the engineering side knew how long the tyres would last for or how well they would work.
“This is why it was not an easy call to decide when to pit, but I must say that our strategy group did a really good job, particularly with Pierre, who stopped at exactly the right moment.”
Tost was naturally disappointed that Tsunoda was unable to maintain his position inside the top ten after a mid-race spin, but the Team Principal was happy that the Japanese racer was able to get some significant time on the intermediate tyre.
Tsunoda, who had defended well from Lewis Hamilton in the opening stages of the race, has had limited running on wet weather tyres during his rookie season so to get a whole race worth of intermediate running will have done him the world of good.
“Yuki also had a good start today and spent quite a few laps in eighth position, managing to keep Hamilton behind for a long time, showing a great performance,” said Tost. “Later on, he unfortunately spun and went back to 14th position.
“It was an enormous learning process for him, as he had not driven in the wet that often, so he now understands more about how the Intermediates work and he is more familiar with the car in these conditions.”
Tost was content that Gasly’s sixth place edged them closer to the Alpine F1 Team as the two outfits battle over fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship.
“Generally speaking, the team showed a good performance this weekend and we’ve managed to score more points for our battle for fifth in the Constructors’ Championship,” he added. “We’re now looking forward to heading to the United States.”
© The Checkered Flag