Franz Toast about the upcoming start of the season …May 20, 2020
Europe is gradually lifting quarantine restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but AlphaTauri chief Franz Toast continues to lead the Formula 1 team from home. In a recent interview, Franz told how in Faenza they are preparing to leave self-isolation and return to their usual work at the base.
Franz Toast: “In the early days of self-isolation, it was very strange to be at home, but I’m already used to it, and now I have a pretty busy schedule. Everything is in order, although life is boring without racing, so I really hope that we can start the season in Austria in July.
You have no idea how difficult it is to find working tests for coronavirus, to find the right doctors and an accredited laboratory to conduct tests. It took us a lot of time, but now the issue is resolved thanks to the work done together with the Formula 1 medical service, as well as work with doctors from Germany, Austria and Italy. Now we have tests that guarantee reliable results.
In front of the base, we organized a special room for passing tests. We want to be sure that not a single infected person gets to the base. We hope that all of our employees do not have a virus and they can all get to work.
We will continue to do tests, and now we are discussing how often they are needed – once every ten days or once every fourteen. The racing team will undergo additional testing before traveling to Austria, and then another test upon arrival. I think that if all the teams complete this procedure, then there is a high probability that no one in the paddock will have a coronavirus.
Our tests consist of blood sampling, and the test is divided into two parts. The first results appear after 10 minutes – we will find out if a person is infected or not. Further research lasts another day, and show whether the person is sick at the moment, or he already transferred the virus without symptoms and did not even know about it. “
Speaking about the start of the season, Toast noted the difficulties that all teams will face: “It is very difficult to resume the full work of the base before the start of the season. I want us to completely disassemble and assemble the machines, as when they were first built. Then we need to train pit stops. And I am worried about the riders who have not been driving for a long time.
It is very important to arrive in Austria with a reliable car so that we can drive as many laps as possible. I think that all teams will adhere to this strategy, so in the first Friday training we will see a lot of cars on the track. No one will wait on the pit lane when the condition of the asphalt improves and grip grows. All riders need to regain a sense of speed, feel the brakes, the behavior of the car in turns and so on.
We want to prepare some new products, but first you need to find out whether we will start the season or not. I do not want to launch new products into production now, and then find out that there will be no races. Due to financial constraints, we are forced to save on everything we can.
I am also very worried about next year. Although we will be able to use the current car in 2021, since the regulations will not change, we will have to build a completely new car for the 2022, and I still do not know how we will cope with all the related financial issues.
Creating such a project costs a lot of money. The decision has already been made, but I would prefer that the rules be postponed until 2023, but the FOM and FIA decided as they decided, and we must squeeze the maximum out of these conditions. ”
Toast commented on the limitations of the size of the budget in 2021 with an amount of $ 145 million: “In my opinion, these are still big numbers. I have always advocated a smaller budget simply because we live in a global economic crisis. I expect three to four years to pass before the economy recovers.
In such circumstances, it is difficult to look for sponsors. To the budget of $ 145 million you need to add another $ 40 million for expenses that are not subject to restrictions. Thus, we still come to today’s figures of $ 185 million.
It’s not so easy to raise so much money. If this year we will have fewer races, then next year we will receive fewer payments from the FOM. In any case, that was exactly what was decided. We have a business plan, and we get a certain amount from Red Bull, but we should not go beyond these numbers. It’s not about asking for more money, it’s about finding a way to spend less. ”
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