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AlphaTauri 'can't win races' with rookies in the car

Franz Tost has outlined the changes the team will need to make if they want to be in contention to win races in the future.

AlphaTauri's Franz Tost believes that the team will not be able to win Formula 1 races if they continue to just field rookies in their car. The team has announced a new management structure with Tost set to leave the team at the end of the season and Ferrari's Laurent Mekies to join alongside former FIA Executive Peter Bayer. While they have only two wins to their name at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix and 2020 Italian Grand Prix, Tost is confident that the team can turn around their fortunes if they look towards more experience in their driver lineup. "In the future, I hope that team will win races. We are working with young drivers and if you look back, we sometimes had even two new drivers for a season. With rookies, you can't win a race," said Tost to the F1 Nation podcast. "If you look to the current starting grid, the first four teams are so strong from the technical side but also from the driver side, that a rookie will not come there and just win against them. "I remember back when Sebastian Vettel was driving for us, he won later races and championships. But he also needed a couple of years to get familiar with F1 - the same with Max Verstappen."

Tost: Drivers need three years to know what's going on in Formula 1

With 18 years of experience bringing through drivers including Vettel, Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, and Carlos Sainz to the Red Bull Junior programme, Tost says it takes around three years before they know what is "going on in F1" and get up to speed. This could be a potential barrier for the team to competing with teams higher up the grid including Aston Martin, McLaren and Alpine, where drivers arrive having already had that previous experience at other teams on the grid. "I always say until a driver knows what's going on in F1, he needs three years. Why? The first year is just flying away, drivers come to the track and everything is new for them, even if there is beforehand with an F2 or F3 car," he explained. "Most often the rookies make the mistake to overdrive the car, they think 'Now is the qualifying so I must brake later, I must push harder' and then of course they make mistakes. "In the second year, they get a little bit more familiar with everything and in the third year they start to understand what are the tyres doing, what the aerodynamics are doing, how can I change it, what do I have to change to make it better? "Then the second part of the third year onwards and the fourth year, they should be prepared the win race or to be in a position to fight against the others."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying