Tost out, Mekies and Bayer in at Alpha Tauri

Well, you won’t have Franz Tost to push around anymore and Lewis Hamilton will not have to worry about knowing who Franz even is. The team announced today that Franz would be stepping down as team boss at Alpha Tauri.

The interesting point is that Laurent Mekies will be joining the team which means he’s leaving Ferrari. Now, there are some, and I am not saying I am one of them, who believe Laurent leaving Ferrari might be a good thing as he has been blamed for some of the strategy mishaps in the recent past.

I suspect we will know if that is the case if Alpha Tauri makes similar mistakes in 2024.

Regardless, perhaps the bigger news is that former FIA director Peter Bayer will also be joining the team as CEO and that’s a very big “get” for the team! Here are the details:

Team Press Release:

A key figure in the development of both Scuderia AlphaTauri and its predecessor Scuderia Toro Rosso, Franz Tost joined the Faenza squad as Team Principal upon its creation in 2005 and led Toro Rosso to its first victory, on home soil, at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix. Following its rebranding as Scuderia AlphaTauri, Franz again led the Team to victory in 2020, winning at Monza for a second time.

With the Team also charged with the development of young drivers for future F1 success, during his time with the team Franz also helped progress a generation of grand prix winners and champions, including four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, two-time world champion Max Verstappen and race winners Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz.

Recognising his longstanding contribution to the Team and its drivers, Franz will continue to work with Scuderia AlphaTauri in a consultancy role in 2024.

Peter Bayer joins Scuderia AlphaTauri as CEO having most recently acted as F1 Executive Director and Secretary General for Sport at the FIA. Peter will oversee the strategic direction of the team at its facilities in Faenza and in the UK.

Laurent Mekies’ appointment as Team Principal at Scuderia AlphaTauri brings Ferrari’s current Sporting Director back to the Team with which he achieved many of his early successes, first as a race engineer and ultimately as Chief Engineer and Head of Vehicle Performance. After his first stint in Faenza, Laurent spent four years at the FIA as Safety Director and Deputy Race Director, before joining Ferrari in 2018.

With Laurent being responsible for the day-to-day operation of the team, including Technical, Manufacturing, Support Function and Race Team operations and in conjunction with Peter’s strategically focussed role, they will create a new and dynamic leadership team with equal responsibility.

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Not really a surprise, he’s into his late 60s and looking to retire.
Marko will be the next one to retire.