Former AlphaTauri team boss, Franz Tost, has dismissed complaints about the busy Formula 1 calendar, stating that in his early years in the sport, teams worked longer hours and did not complain, and suggesting that burnout is for “lazy people”.
‣ The 2024 Formula 1 season will have as many as 24 Grands Prix, making it a very busy calendar for teams and drivers.
‣ Franz Tost, former AlphaTauri team boss, believes complaints about too many races are unjustified and cites the curfew at every race weekend as an example of the improved conditions compared to his early years in Formula 1.
‣ Tost recalls that in the past, mechanics would work until 1 or 2am and be back at the track by 6 or 7am, with no complaints.
‣ Tost acknowledges that the current number of races can be challenging for team members who are away from home for extended periods and have families, particularly engineers who have less leisure time.
The 2024 season of Grands Prix is set to be jam-packed, featuring as many as 24 races. This is a record number, and it’s already causing a bit of a stir. Some teams and drivers are voicing concerns about the intense pressure that comes with so many races. They’re happening all over the globe, after all.
Franz Tost, the former AlphaTauri team boss, is a bit puzzled by these complaints. He stepped down from his role after the Abu Dhabi GP. But he can’t quite wrap his head around the fuss over a busy calendar.
At 67, Tost has seen his fair share of races. He finds the complaints about too many races laughable, even going as far as calling them “a joke”. He recently spoke to GP Racing magazine about it. He mentioned the curfew at every race weekend, which mandates mechanics to be back in their hotels by 9 or 10 in the evening.
But Tost remembers a different time in Formula 1. Back in his early years, things weren’t so strict.
Tost recalls his time at BMW, where the work was relentless. “We changed an engine every day. Friday engine, qualifying engine, race engine,” he reminisces. And the long hours? They were just part of the job. “We never got back to our hotel before 1 or 2am. That was normal. And at 6 or 7 in the morning, we had to get up and go to the track.”
And the complaints? Non-existent, according to Tost. “Nobody complained,” he insists.
Burnout? Tost scoffs at the concept. “People didn’t know what that was. The real people still don’t know what it is. Burnout is for lazy people. The real people who like to work don’t have it.”
But Tost does recognize that times have changed. He concedes that 23 or 24 races should be the maximum number per year. After all, his former team’s employees are often away from home for three or four weeks at a time.
Tost admits that it’s not a problem for him personally. But he acknowledges that others might struggle. “The mechanics have days off after each race weekend, but the engineers have less leisure time,” he notes.
He’s aware that they have responsibilities beyond the race. “They come back after a race, analyze everything, and prepare for the next race. And if they have a family at home, that’s a different story.”