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mekies tost f1

Mekies to depart Ferrari and replace Tost at Alpha Tauri

mekies tost f1

Franz Tost, Formula 1’s second longest-serving team principal with AlphaTauri, will step down at the end of the 2023 season and replaced by Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies.

Amid speculation, Red Bull-owned AlphaTauri announced the change in a statement ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku, saying it was aimed at ensuring continuity and securing long-term stability.

Austrian Peter Bayer, who was previously F1 executive director and secretary general for motorsport at the governing FIA, will join as the team’s chief executive officer later in the year.

AlphaTauri said Mekies’s start date was still to be confirmed. Meanwehile,  Tost, 67, will remain as a consultant in 2024 but the Austrian said it was time to hand over his day-to-day duties.

“With Peter as new CEO and Laurent as Team Principal, we found two very professional people, who will bring the team to the next level. I want to thank everyone for the good cooperation,” he said.

Frenchman Mekies, who joined Ferrari in 2018 and is a former deputy race director at the FIA, will be returning to the team he worked for previously as an engineer and head of vehicle performance.

“I am honoured to take on the role of team principal and to return to the Team where I spent a large portion of my early career,” he said.

“Scuderia AlphaTauri has all of the ingredients necessary for greater success in the future and in tandem with Peter I’m looking forward to making that happen.”

Tost joined the Faenza-based team in November 2005, when the old Minardi outfit was bought by Red Bull and renamed Scuderia Toro Rosso, and was in charge when they won the 2008 Italian Grand Prix with Germany’s Sebastian Vettel.

Only Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has been in his job for longer than the Austrian who first came into Formula One in 2000 as track operations manager with Williams’s then-partners BMW.

Mekies’ departure continues something of an exodus from Ferrari after the Italian team changed principals, with Fred Vasseur replacing Mattia Binotto in January.

Long-serving Head of Vehicle Concept David Sanchez left Maranello in March and is due to start work at McLaren in a senior technical role next January. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)