At a press conference in Imola, AlphaTauri chief Franz Toast commented on the extension of the contract with Pierre Gasly and spoke and also spoke about the salaries of the riders and the idea of holding 23 races next season.
Franz Toast: “I would not say that we with Red Bull Racing are fighting for a contract with this or that driver. Yes, we have the status of a sister team, but brother and sister are not always at odds with each other! The decision was made by the Red Bull company, fortunately we were lucky to keep Pierre at our place. He is a high-class racer, he won the race with us. Pierre knows the team and the car very well, and if next season we will be able to provide him with everything he needs to fight for good results, he will achieve even greater success with AlphaTauri.
Who will take a seat in the cockpit of the second car has not yet been decided. Next week we have tests with Yuki Tsunoda, then there will be youth tests in Abu Dhabi, and then we’ll see what the conclusions will be.
Next season we are invited to host 23 races – I hope so, but we do not yet know how everything will turn out in light of the ongoing pandemic. For such a number of Grand Prix, we must strengthen the infrastructure – increase the staff of mechanics, engineers and form a replacement fund to guarantee both the continuity of work and the safety of personnel. This is a purely organizational task. Of course, 23 races is a large number, but it’s good that we already know about such plans and can take this into account in our preparation.
We are also invited to introduce a limit on the salary of riders. Personally, it seems to me that the riders already earn quite a lot, you can pay them much less. In my opinion, the limit should be no more than $ 10 million, but it’s good that at least some restrictions are beginning to appear in this direction. We must be realistic, in the current environment it is very difficult to attract additional funding from sponsors.
Take, for example, this weekend in Imola: a couple of days ago, the organizers expected to spend it with spectators in the stands, but now it is completely impossible. We do not know what the situation will be next year, whether the race will be held with spectators. If there are no fans in the stands, the organizers’ income will fall, the FOM will receive less money and pay the teams less prize money. And if the teams lose in revenue, I see no reason why the riders should not get less. After all, they should, above all, be happy to be driving these fantastic machines and having such interesting jobs. “