AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost has moved to clarify his critical remarks on the team's engineers at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Tost sensationally declared that he had lost trust in his staff after an underwhelming start to the new F1 season.
Speaking between Friday practice sessions, he said: "The engineers are telling me that we will make some good progress, but I don't trust them anymore.
"I just want to see the lap time, because this is the only thing which counts."
READ MORE: Tost slates AlphaTauri engineers as trust 'gone'
But asked to clarify his comments after the press conference had concluded, Tost explained: "During the winter months, I saw the data on paper and on the computer that the car had improved a lot on the performance side.
"When you come then to a race, or first to the test, and you see the car is not performing in that way, you lose trust in the figures and the numbers.
"I hope that after the test in Bahrain and the race in Bahrain, where we have collected a lot of data, that the engineers now have a good database and therefore that they find out how to improve the performance of the car, how to make the new parts that the car is performing better."
No risk to morale
On whether there were any concerns over damage to team morale in the wake of his comments, Tost insisted: "I am not worried about this.
"Our engineers are very motivated, there is good morale and especially now, it is an interesting and big challenge for them to get the most out of it."
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But allaying fears of a deeper issue, the two-time champion said: "It was just functioning things with the downshifts, we do that all the time."