On the heels of an excellent 2020 Formula 1 season for AlphaTauri, technical director Jody Egginton is looking to prioritise aero development as the foundation of the AT02.
The Italian-based Scuderia AlphaTauri made its racing debut in the 2006 season then named Toro Rosso as a junior team to Red Bull Racing. Their first taste of success took place at Monza in 2008 where Sebastian Vettel claimed an incredible first victory for both he and Toro Rosso. The achievement was mirrored in 2020 when Pierre Gasly scored a highly unlikely, yet sensational first win for he and his AlphaTauri team, again in Monza.
AlphaTauri have made significant performance advances in the last half decade with the 2020 AT01 being their sharpest challenger to date. AlphaTauri capitalized on the AT01’s performance by quietly executing on one stop strategies with a high degree of success finishing seventh in the points, but more importantly scoring 107 points, by far the teams greatest points haul to date.
Embarking on the 2021 season with an absolutely gorgeous livery, AlphaTauri look to make good on Honda’s Toyohauru Tanabe’s promise for the best Honda engine yet. Egginton looks to couple Honda’s engine promise with AlphaTauri’s pursuit of stronger aero development for the AT02 to leap forward in the standings in 2021.
“I really believe the AT01 was the best car to be produced by the team,” he said. “The STR14 was not a bad car but the AT01 developed very well through the season and its performance was a credit to the hard work of everybody involved in the project.
“For 2021 major changes to the car require the use of ‘tokens’ and each team is limited to just two tokens, as such we have elected to carryover the safety cell. We believe the chassis and power-unit provides a good baseline, so we are happy to have spent our tokens elsewhere for 2021.
“We’ve elected to use our two tokens for a new nose and also redesigned the outboard front suspension, as a result of this we have elected to update some Red Bull Technologies supplied steering components to 2020 specification, as permitted by the Technical Regulations.
“The work which has been undertaken to develop our car for 2021 goes far beyond compliance with regulation changes and has involved changes to nearly all aero surfaces and also development and repackaging large parts of the car, which are hidden, in order to achieve these changes. We have spent a lot of time working to recover the aero losses as a result of the regulation changes, while also focusing on increasing and improving the cars aerodynamic operating window.
“The headline aero numbers have been affected by the aero change, but we have been working really hard to recover the lost performance and also improve the aero dynamic operating window for the car. How fast will our car be? It’s not something I would want to put an exact number to just yet. Overall, taking everything into account, I would say we will probably see a performance level similar to that seen mid-2020.
“Effectively, Honda is giving us a new power-unit for this year and have taken the opportunity to develop the packaging around it. Honda is very determined to push right to the end of 2021 and we are sure the power unit will continue to provide all that is required from it.”