AlphaTauri has announced that Laurent Mekies, currently Ferrari’s Sporting Director, will replace Franz Tost as team principal at AlphaTauri. Tost will step down at the end of 2023.
Speculation over the past few weeks has intensified on this issue, with all indications suggesting that change was inevitable at the senior level of AlphaTauri.
Our previous article outlined some of the key links between Mekies and AlphaTauri, with Red Bull eager to improve upon the weaknesses that have limited the Italian squad’s development.
Helmut Marko has been vocal about the Faenza team’s future and the changes that will be necessary.
The Red Bull advisor has outlined that the team is not for sale but also emphasised that changes would be made to improve the squad’s competitiveness and profitability.
Franz Tost has released a statement about his time with the team:
“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.
“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.
“With 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.”
Laurent Mekies, returning to the team he spent nine years with, has also released a statement about his appointment to the AlphaTauri team principal role:
“Firstly, I’d like to pay tribute to Franz for the great job he has done over almost two decades in charge at Faenza. 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.”
Mekies’ exit is one of many changes taking place at Ferrari, with the Maranello squad embarking on a period of transition to start the 2023 season.
Ferrari is expected to look internally to replace its recent departures as the team continues the development of the SF-23.
Focusing on AlphaTauri, Mekies will be tasked with establishing his outfit in the midfield and helping them reach the expectations set by Red Bull.