Outgoing AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost believes there are two drivers on the current grid who don’t “deserve to be in this paddock”, something he revealed to Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft during an off-air conversation.
Having been AlphaTauri’s team principal since the side joined the sport in 2006, Tost has seen plenty of drivers come and go.
Remarkably, not one driver is disappearing off the grid following the end of the 2023 season, with the class of 2024 to be exactly the same as what was seen at the recent Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Overall, there is only one change on the 2024 grid compared to the start of 2023, and that’s Daniel Ricciardo replacing Nyck de Vries.
It’s the first time in F1’s history that the drivers which ended the season will all start the next campaign, halting the career of some Formula 2 drivers who have been forced to look elsewhere.
However, according to Tost, there are two drivers who shouldn’t be in the sport, although Croft failed to name who the 67-year-old picked out.
“I had a fabulous exchange with him in the paddock at a race,” Croft said on the Sky F1 podcast.
“We were just talking in general, sometimes you could get Franz when he had five or 10 minutes and just chew the cud of Formula 1 and we were talking about drivers.
“He said, ‘Yeah, every single driver in this paddock deserves to be in this paddock, deserves to be in Formula 1 … except two.
“I said ‘Really? Two? And who would they be? He said, blah, blah, blah, and blah, blah, bla. I’m not going to name them, but I could not disagree with a word he said about that one.
“And he then went on to explain absolutely why they really shouldn’t be in Formula 1 at the moment.
“But I’m not going to tell you who because that will be unfair of those drivers.”
In the most recent season, the two drivers whose futures were speculated the most were Sergio Perez and Logan Sargeant, two drivers at completely different ends of the grid.
Perez’s mid-season struggles saw his 2024 Red Bull seat linked to the likes of Ricciardo, despite the fact he actually has a contract with the Austrians for next year.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner ended up getting involved to put an end to the speculation, by stressing that the Mexican driver wasn’t going anywhere.
As for Sargeant, his seat was linked to the likes of Mick Schumacher, Liam Lawson and Frederik Vesti, as he made far too many driver errors.
Sargeant ended 2023 well by progressing to Q3 at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, whilst his only top-10 finish came at the United States Grand Prix.
The American rookie struggled to adjust to F1, although team boss James Vowles has opted to give him more time to show his potential in 2024.