AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost has said a blend of youth and experience is crucial in a team, and feels there’s “no chance” of running in the midfield with “two kids” behind the wheel.
The Faenza team earned P6 in the Constructors’ Championship with an experienced head in Pierre Gasly, who comfortably out-scored rookie team-mate Yuki Tsunoda on the other side of the garage in 2021.
Haas ran with two rookies in the shape of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, and team principal Guenther Steiner admitted it was “like having children” at the team at times in their first year.
Tost has thrown his support behind his team’s model of bringing fresh talent into the sport through Red Bull’s academy, but using a driver with Formula 1 experience is a key component of that.
think we're gonna need a rematch of this in 2022 🔥 @PierreGASLY @yukitsunoda07 pic.twitter.com/iIt11nMYI1
— Scuderia AlphaTauri (@AlphaTauriF1) January 5, 2022
If not, you could find yourself down the field.
“Nowadays, in Formula 1, [if you] drive [with] two inexperienced drivers you have a really big challenge and the Constructors’ Championship, you will immediately be in the back,” Tost told reporters at the end of the season, as per GPFans.
“There’s no chance with two kids to be in the midfield [or at] the front because the field is far too competitive, it’s too strong.”
Tost pointed to the example of qualifying to illustrate the differences between drivers, with Tsunoda in particular having never driven on the majority of circuits in his rookie year – which is likely to have been a reason behind his one-lap deficit to Gasly all season long.
While these details might be small, the AlphaTauri team boss thinks there are factors which add up to the less experienced driver being “tenths” slower, which can put them out of position.
“If you look to the qualifying times, it’s hundredths of a second,” Tost explained. “I think in Saudi Arabia, Pierre was 0.087secs behind [Charles] Leclerc, which is 78 centimetres or whatever, there were two positions.
“Then if you have a young driver, an inexperienced one, we are talking about tenths, not about thousandths.
“I think that with the combination of one experienced driver, and then if there’s a very high skilled young driver, AlphaTauri is always in a position and ready to educate the young driver.”
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