Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies (main image) will replace Franz Tost as AlphaTauri team principal at the end of this season as part of a management overhaul.
Tost has held the position since 2005 when the Toro Rosso team was established, and has overseen two home victories at Monza – with Sebastian Vettel in 2008, and Pierre Gasly in 2020. However, AlphaTauri has now announced he will step down from the role at the end of this season to take on a consultancy role for 2024.
Mekies returns to his former team from Ferrari, with his arrival simply named as “at a date to be confirmed”, while former FIA executive Peter Bayer will also join as chief executive officer. Bayer was most recently F1 executive director and secretary general for sport at the FIA, and will oversee the strategic direction of AlphaTauri when he takes up his position later this year.
That makes it two former FIA employees making up the new senior management team as Tost steps down, with Mekies also having spent four years as the governing body’s safety director and deputy race director before moving to Maranello.
“Firstly, I’d like to pay tribute to Franz for the great job he has done over almost two decades in charge at Faenza,” Mekies said. “I wish him well for the future and I know that both Peter and I will rely on his input and advice in times to come. Looking forward, 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. 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.”
After over 18 years in the role of team principal Tost will step aside, and the Austrian said it’s the right time to hand over control.
“First of all, I would like to thank Dietrich Mateschitz, who gave me the incredible opportunity to be team principal of Scuderia Toro Rosso and Scuderia AlphaTauri for the past 18 years,” Tost said. “It has been a true privilege to lead the team for such a long period and a great pleasure to work with so many motivated and skilled people, who share my passion for Formula 1.
“(At) 67 years old it is time to hand over, and 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.”
Tost steps aside with AlphaTauri currently ninth in the constructors’ championship, and Bayer says the team has all the infrastructure in place to move further up the grid.
“I would also like to thank Franz for his dedication to Scuderia AlphaTauri and its predecessor, Scuderia Toro Rosso,” Bayer said. “His commitment to developing young talent has resulted in a Formula 1 grid where 25% of the drivers have benefited from his guidance.
“It is a great privilege for me, too, to take on the role of CEO at the team and working alongside Laurent. Scuderia AlphaTauri has a fantastic team of people and great infrastructure in Faenza and in the UK. I am very much looking forward to building on those key elements to increase performance, on an off track, and to bring the team even more success in the coming years.”