Tost Praises Verstappen’s Ability to Read the Race

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be the last race for AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost, who praised three-time world champion Max Verstappen‘s speed and racing skills, despite initial criticism for recruiting him at a young age.

Highlights

‣ The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be the last race for AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost, who has been in the role for 18 years.
‣ Tost has been particularly impressed by drivers Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen during his time in Formula 1.
‣ Despite initial criticism for bringing Verstappen into Formula One at a young age, Tost defended his decision, stating that the driver’s age did not matter as he had been racing for over a decade.
‣ Tost praised Verstappen’s ability to read races and anticipate opponents’ moves, citing his victory at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix as an example.


The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is more than just the final race of the current Formula 1 season. It also marks the end of an era for AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost. At 67, the Austrian is preparing for his last dance in the world of Formula 1.

He recently opened up on the Beyond The Grid podcast. He spoke about his experiences, particularly scouting the now three-time world champion, Max Verstappen.

When asked about the drivers who had impressed him the most during his tenure, Tost didn’t hesitate. Two names immediately sprung to mind. The first was Sebastian Vettel, a four-time world champion. The second was a young Max Verstappen, who caught Tost’s eye early on.

“Max [stood out] because of his unbelievable speed,” Tost recalled. He remembered the skepticism when he first brought Verstappen into Formula One. “Some of your colleagues [journalists] came to me and said, ‘you are totally crazy. How can you take someone who doesn’t have a driver’s license?’ And I said, ‘sorry, I don’t want to discuss this with you now,” Tost reminisced.

Looking back, Tost’s decision was justified. He shrugged off the questions about Verstappen’s age. “No. It was clear. But he was 17,” Tost said.

“It doesn’t matter. This is just a figure on the birth calendar or whatever,” Tost explained. He pointed out that Verstappen had been racing for over a decade. “He was racing for 10 years or 11 years already and that’s decisive because nowadays, the young drivers start karting at six, seven years.”

Tost also highlighted the crucial role of Verstappen’s father, Jos. “And then, and that’s the next important factor for Max, he had Jos, his father, on his side,” Tost added.

In 2016, Verstappen stunned the world at the Barcelona circuit. Hamilton and Rosberg crashed, leaving Verstappen in the lead. He managed to keep Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel at bay, securing a victory that would make his father proud.

“He can think, and do other things,” Tost said. “He can read the race. He knows what the opponents are doing. He knew where Räikkönen could become dangerous for him. And he drove exactly the way to defend and to win this race. Of course, I was surprised. It’s a fantastic success, we all were happy with him.”

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at F1Highlights.com. With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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