Outgoing AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost might not be leaving Formula 1 nor AlphaTauri after all, with the Austrian having been offered a two-year contract to become a consultant.
After leading the Faenza-based team since they joined F1 in 2006, it was announced earlier in the season that Tost would be replaced in 2024 by Ferrari’s race director, Laurent Mekies.
At the time, Tost admitted that it was “time to go” and let somebody else do a “much better job”.
“It’s time to go. I’m 67,” Tost said.
“I think this is the time where I will hand it over to some other people who can do a much better job than me.”
His plans appear to have changed though, due to having been offered a new two-year contract.
Should he sign it, then the 67-year-old’s retirement will be delayed, given that he’ll become a consultant.
Tost is currently “thinking” about the offer, something which would halt his plans to go skiing in the winter.
“I’m happy that I’m finally going skiing again in the winter,” he told the Osterreich newspaper.
“Then I got an offer to stay on as a consultant for another two years, so I’m thinking about that.”
He at least has until the end of 2023 to decide, by at which point he might have had enough of the pinnacle of motorsport.
It’s been a challenging start to the season for AlphaTauri, especially for rookie Nyck de Vries.
De Vries is yet to really demonstrate the pace that saw him awarded with the seat in the first place, following his late debut at last season’s Italian Grand Prix.
Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has reportedly shown the 28-year-old a “yellow card” to drastically improve or face the sack.
Interestingly, Tost wanted Mercedes reserve driver Mick Schumacher to drive for the team instead of De Vries, something he suggested to Marko.
Marko rejected the idea though, with Tost admitting that the team are “happy” to have De Vries onboard.
“You are always wiser afterwards,” Tost grinned. “But now we have Nyck and we are happy that he is with us.
“Even if we expected more at the beginning of the season, we can’t forget that rookies today don’t know many of the racetracks and they are hardly allowed to test.
“And the sprints make everything even more difficult.”