Marko retains Franz Tost as Red Bull consultant
"He’s a hard bone with a soft core"
Franz Tost will in fact remain connected to Formula 1 next year as a team consultant.
Having led Red Bull’s second outfit since the beginning, the 67-year-old Austrian is now stepping down as team boss to be replaced by new CEO and new principal Laurent Mekies as part of a wider rebranding and renaming of Alpha Tauri.
However, Tost admitted in June that he has received "an offer to stay on as a consultant for another two years, so I’m thinking about that".
But at his final grand prix as team boss in Abu Dhabi, Tost backtracked, insisting that he will be "definitely skiing" when preparations for the 2024 season are underway at Faenza.
"With Peter as CEO and Laurent as team boss, we have two excellent people who will lead the team in their own way," he told Kronen Zeitung newspaper.
"I don’t think it’s right to stand next to them and say ’do it like this, do it like that’. I prefer to let them do it."
However, when asked about Tost’s retirement, Red Bull’s top advisor Dr Helmut Marko indicated that his fellow Austrian will in fact remain involved beyond his official retirement.
"Mark Mateschitz presented him with a symbolic (Alpha Tauri) car in model form, but Franz will receive a complete car," Marko told Sky Deutschland.
"He’s a hard bone with a soft core," said the 80-year-old.
"It hurts to see him go as it wasn’t just the 18 years with us, he was previously in motorsport with many others," Marko continued, with Tost’s career dating all the way back to his work with Ralf Schumacher and earlier.
"The extraordinary thing about him is that our two world champions went to school with him," he said, referring to Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen. "The training was so good that they were able to immediately fight for the title at Red Bull Racing.
"That’s a huge achievement on his part."
So although Tost’s full-time days in F1 are ending, Red Bull will be able to go to him for advice and support.
"He will do stand-by consulting for the years 2024 and 2025," Marko revealed. "So if we or the people at Alpha Tauri need him, they can contact him.
"But he is free for all other activities that do not conflict with Formula 1," he clarified. "After 18 years, he deserves the fact that as a Tyrolean he can finally pursue his beloved skiing in peace."
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