Daniel Ricciardo has recalled his first meeting with Franz Tost, stating that it “made me mature quicker” ahead of his season with Toro Rosso.
After spending the second half of the 2011 campaign with the now-defunct HRT team, Ricciardo was handed a Toro Rosso drive for the following season.
The Australian spent two years with the team before being promoted to its Red Bull sister squad in 2014.
Having since raced for Renault and McLaren, Ricciardo found himself back at the Tost-led team this year, now racing under the moniker of AlphaTauri.
Tost took part in his last F1 race in Abu Dhabi last month ahead of his retirement, with Ricciardo reflecting on the Austrian's impact on the squad.
“I think for the team, he's been everything, obviously starting off in the Toro Rosso days, that's where I started my first full season in F1,” Ricciardo told media including RacingNews365.
“I remember quite vividly the first meeting I had in his office and, you know, I kind of bounced in with a smile.
“I think he looked at me like [he] tried to prepare me for what's ahead. It's a serious sport and it's a tough old world.
“So I think he was very honest with me as well, a little bit the same as with Helmut, it kind of made me mature a little quicker and ultimately grow up.”
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'Always been really involved'
Following Tost's retirement, ex-Ferrari Sporting Director Laurent Mekies will take over running the day-to-day operations of the squad in a Team Principal role.
However, Tost is still set to be involved in a consultancy role to provide advice when needed despite not being present at the track during race weekends.
“Franz has always been really involved,” Ricciardo added.
“He's in every debrief, he'll normally speak as well in debriefs and give some analysis or advice or anything he's seen. He's fully involved in it, it's his passion.
“It's been everything that's kind of given him drive for so many years. I hope he can enjoy putting his feet up a little bit next year.
“I'm not sure fully what that’s going to entail for him, but I really hope he's able to enjoy some R&R, but a lot of good memories and actually really nice for me personally to come back to the team and be here for his farewell.”
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