A year in review: interview with Franz Tost of Scuderia Toro Rosso
By: Guennadi Moukine | Published: 2017-11-12
It’s hard to believe, but the 2017 Formula 1 season is nearly over. With only two races to go, we asked Franz Tost, Scuderia Toro Rosso Team Principal, to sum up the season so far and share his goals for 2018.
This has been an eventful year in sport. New regulations, new cars, and new drivers. With 2 more races to go, how would you sum up the year so far?
This year we have a new car built according to the new FIA regulations — much wider tyres, greater downforce and so on. Why the FIA and the teams wanted to go in this direction is to increase the speed of Formula 1 cars. It happened. At most of the race tracks, we’re 2, 3 and sometimes 5 seconds faster than in the years before.
The first half of the season was quite successful for Toro Rosso. During the first race in Melbourne both of our cars progressed to Q3 and both cars finished in the points taking the 8th and 9th position. Then, Carlos Sainz finished 6th in Monaco and 4th in Singapore. These are the highlights so far from the race performance side.
Unfortunately, mid-season we hit some reliability problems. We didn’t finish 5 races because of the power unit problems. Also, the drivers had some crashes. And therefore, we’re currently on the 6thposition in the constructors’ championship. There are 2 races to go and I hope we’ll be able to stay where we are.
We talk a lot about data protection. Can you recall any incidents when Toro Rosso lost data (at the track or in the factory) and what effect it had on the team’s performance?
Before we partnered with Acronis, we lost some CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) data. It took about a week to rebuild the clusters and bring the programs to the same level as before. One week in Formula 1 is a very long time. From the development side, one week of downtime can translate to losing two to three tenth of a second of performance on the track. And if you look at the qualifying times, even one-tenth of a second can decide your position on the grid. As you can imagine, it’s very important to protect and to store data in a correct way that you can always restore it quickly when needed.
How did Acronis help Toro Rosso to protect data this season?
This year we started using Acronis Access Advanced to access and share sensitive data with remote users. It’s a big step forward. When we are at the race track, we can access data from any computer or even mobile phone without compromising security. It helped us to improve efficiency and ability to respond to data information.
With the new driver line up, what is the most important data they watch to help them accomplish higher positions?
First of all, when the new drivers are coming, they’re studying data from the previous years — both the car performance and driving style of other drivers. This is telemetry data and video footage from onboard cameras. It helps them to understand the car and improve their own performance in a quick way. Thanks to Acronis, this data is always protected and available.
How much of the race is the driver’s ability and how much is technology?
Formula 1 is a combination of multiple things. As we’ve seen only too often, you can have a world champion behind the wheel, but if the technology is not on the right level, then the whole performance suffers.
In Formula 1 success is a combination of five factors: the team, chassis, power unit, drivers, and tyres. This package has to be assembled in the best possible way in order to get the most out of it. All these factors have to play perfectly together in order for a team to win races.
What are your goals and wishes for 2018?
As you already know, in 2018 we’re going out with a new Honda hybrid power unit. It’s a completely new start for Toro Rosso and we’re looking forward to working with such a fantastic company like Honda.
Before we can come up with new targets, we need to see how good the new car and the new power unit is going to be. But in any case, we’re aiming for the first five positions in the constructors’ championship.
Thank you and all the best for the future races!