It seems the Ferrari exodus continues as higher-ups have decided to make major changes within the team and Laurent Mekies, Ferrari’s former Sporting Director, is the next in line. Whether he was pushed out or quit is unclear but he will now take over as the Team Principal at AlphaTauri, replacing Franz Tost.
AlphaTauri is undergoing its largest personnel shakeup since the team was founded as Toro Rosso in 2005.
Tost has spent 18 years as Team Principal with rumours stating that the team’s poor start to the 2023 season is the reason for his departure as AlphaTauri hopes to challenge further up the grid.
Mekies isn’t a stranger to the team either having worked there during their Minardi days in 2002 and for another 10 years before becoming Chief Engineer. In 2014 he took on roles at the FIA and then Ferrari in 2018.
Oliver Mintzclaff, Chief Executive of Corporate Projects and Investments at Red Bull, thanked Tost for his work over the years and his successful development of several talented drivers including Sebastian Vettel, Pierre Gasly, and Max Verstappen.
“Replacing him as he steps back has not been easy and has resulted in a redefinition of the management structure at the Team,” said Mintzclaff. “I am therefore very pleased to welcome Peter Payer as CEO and Laurent Mekies as Team Principal. Both have huge experience in top positions in Formula 1 and together I am sure they will take Scuderia AlphaTauri to even greater heights in the future.”
Tost will leave the role at the end of the 2023 season and said, “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.”
This will be Mekies first time in the Team Principal role having served as Deputy Team Principal and Racing Director at Ferrari.
“I am honoured to take on the role of team principal and return to the team where I spent a large portion of my early career,” said Mekies. “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.”
AlphaTauri have explained that Mekies will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the team, while Bayer’s role will be focused on strategy.