Daniel Ricciardo shares “it made me” advice from F1 mentor

Daniel Ricciardo has credited Franz Tost with giving him crucial advice in his early F1 days.
 - Press conference, Pierre Gasly (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 and Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing
- Press conference, Pierre Gasly (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 and…

Tost was the Toro Rosso boss in 2012 when the highly-touted Ricciardo arrived as a young driver.

They then met again last season at AlphaTauri, a move which reinvigorated Ricciardo’s career, before Tost waved goodbye to F1 and retired at the end of the year.

Ricciardo insisted the sport would miss the veteran Tost: “I’d say tremendously. 

“I think for the team, he’s been everything, obviously starting off in the Toro Rosso days, or my first full season in F1.

“I remember quite vividly the first meeting I had in his office and 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.

“I think he was very honest with me as well, but it made me… 

“A little bit the same as with [Red Bull advisor] Helmut [Marko], it kind of made me mature a little quicker and ultimately grow up.

“I think Franz has always been really involved. 

“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 and 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.”

Tost had a helping hand in developing Red Bull drivers Ricciardo, Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel and Pierre Gasly.

Gasly’s only F1 grand prix victory was four years ago in Italy, as an AlphaTauri driver under Tost’s leadership.

“He’s played a huge part in my career,” said Gasly. 

“I ended up spending five years being his driver so we built a very strong bond. 

He’s quite a unique character, he’s got his own personality, but his love and passion for F1 and motorsport is pretty much unmatched.

“He’s been definitely very valuable in my career just in the support that he brought. 

“He brought me the self-reflection in being quite objective and always trying to dig inside his driver and try and get more, extract more out of them. 

“I’ve always had a very good personal connection [with him].

“I did wish him already all the best for his future. 

“I know what he’s going to be up to, he’s always been talking about skiing and going in the mountains. 

“He’s seen race tracks for his entire career and I think it’s a great opportunity for him to enjoy his off-track life.”

Tost, aged 67, was in charge of Toro Rosso and AlphaTauri for 18 years.

Laurent Mekies has arrived this year from Ferrari as AlphaTauri’s new team principal.

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