Franz Tost is known as a man of clear words. With his often undiplomatic statements, he has already made headlines on several occasions in the past. And even in the discussion about the planned extension of the Formula One calendar to 25 races and the associated additional burden on team staff, he knows no mercy.
The families,”he says, addressed at a FIA press conference,”I don’t care. We have 52 weekends a year. We can run 26 races there. What’s the big deal? All that matters is that we get the money for all the races. Then I have no problem with it.”
An uncompromising statement that provokes counter-reactions:”A team leader said he doesn’t care about families. Well, that’s certainly not the case with McLaren,”says for example McLaren boss Zak Brown. And Mercedes team leader Toto Wolff says, “We have to respect the fact that the traveling racing team is on the attack. I don’t think that much more than 21 races go.”
Because with 25 racing weekends that last for many team members not only from Thursday to Sunday, but from Monday to Monday, it is not done. There are also the test runs in winter. And on top of that, there is plenty of work in the factory at home, away from the Grand Prix.
Wolff: Not every employee is interchangeable
At 25 races “you have to work with a second team”, explains Wolff, because: “We have already started to rotate the staff a bit. But you can’t just swap out the highest-ranking employees.”
In this respect, he agrees with Toat on one point:”If we run more races, then my opinion is that the hand must go hand in hand with more revenue and spectacular new routes or markets to which we open ourselves. This would be really important.”
“Maybe you need to build a second team”
In an interview for the Formula One podcast’Starting Grid’, Tost put his uncompromising comments in the right context. But for employees who resent his PK statements and ask for more leisure time, he has no understanding: “I don’t give a shit. Then I say, “retire or get lost!” p>
“The people who are allowed to work in formula 1 must see this as a privilege. That doesn’t mean Toro Rosso doesn’t give people their free time. I don’t see the mechanics after a race until Thursday or Friday. There they are with their families. It’s not like people can’t go to their families!” p>
“But if the race calendar stipulates that 22, 23 races are, then I expect them to employ hundreds of percent. Because they know that in advance. The calendar does not come from today to tomorrow. When someone comes to me and says, “You, I’m sorry, but I don’t accept that. I’m quitting now.’Then okay, well, I don’t have a problem with that.”
That more racing means that the staff is on the road even more days a year, be”right”, Tost doesn’t even cancel. But: “I also said that the revenue must be adequate. That is, if we have more races, we must also have more turnover. Then the teams will also find new ways and means.”
“Maybe you need to build a second team, or whatever. There will be ways. But to say, “No, no, we can’t go that many races because people have to be at home with their family.” Then I say, “I’m sorry, but I don’t agree with that.” I say that quite clearly, and I’m also on board with that.”
Racing Point: Young crew is based on the strenuous travel
One, Otmar Szafnauer, who does not evaluate the subject of travel stress for his employees as drastically as Tost. The Racing Point team leader was recently approached by one of his VIP guests that the racing team in the box was extremely young. Last but not least, he explains in the interview with’Motorsport-Total.com’, that it was due to the formula-1 calendar.
“If you have a family, you don’t want to travel anymore,” explains Szafnauer. “If you have a family, you don’t want to travel.” And when I say travel, that means Monday to Monday for many. Some of us are a little more privileged there. We arrive on Thursday and fly home on Sunday evening. That’s a lot less hard than Monday to Monday.”
“At a back-to-back,”he says,”our guys are on their way for three weeks. If you have a young family, you can’t. Let us not forget: they miss the birthdays of their children and women. You can’t make up for that easily.”And he laughs:”At 25 races per season you miss not only your wife’s birthday, but also your girlfriend’s!” p>
“Vietnam is a future market. We have to go there”
But the formula 1, Tost leaves no doubt about it, must go with time and follow the call of money:”The eternally clashed would still drive today in Zolder […] he says and demands: “We have to get out into these markets. Formula 1 is a global player. Vietnam is a future market. That’s where we need to go. Unfortunately, we are no longer in India.”
“Global Player means that we drive in as many different countries as possible and perhaps less in Europe. The root of formula 1 is Europe. We all know that, and we must respect that. There will always be highlights in Europe. But we have to get out, we have to open up international markets. Because this is important for the future of Formula 1.”
In this respect, it would be unfair to postpone the Black Peter only to the rightholder. The teams themselves also deserve more races with: “We always encourage Liberty to generate more revenue,” Wolff admits. “We always encourage Liberty to generate more revenue.” More races are the best leverage for that.”But he narrows it down:”In my opinion, it’s a narrow rope, on which we are moving…”
Incidentally: The detailed’Starting Grid’interview with Franz Tost (duration 1:22 hours) is available for listening in the radio player on’Motorsport-Total.com’ (issue”In conversation: Toro-Rosso team leader Franz Tost”from the 25th of June), directly to our partner’meinsportpodcast.de’or via free iTunes subscription, for example for the next longer drive.