Strong start to 2021 won't change AlphaTauri's '22 plans

AlphaTauri has no plans to delay the switch to focusing on next year's Formula 1 car despite making a strong start to the 2021 season.

Strong start to 2021 won't change AlphaTauri's '22 plans

AlphaTauri finished seventh in last year's constructors' championship, but looks to be in contention to break into the top five in 2021 after showing impressive pace in Bahrain and Imola.

Pierre Gasly qualified fifth for both races, and although the team only scored eight points across the two rounds, it appears to have a pace advantage over rivals Aston Martin and Alpine.

Gasly fought back to seventh after a strategy miscue at Imola caused him to drop down the order early on, while teammate Yuki Tsunoda was able to score points on debut in Bahrain, showing the pace of the AT02 car.

AlphaTauri technical director Jody Egginton said the team was "firmly in the midfield" currently, and is targeting P5 after feeling it has made a step forward compared to last year.

"Our target is to mix it for fifth in the championship, that's what we're aiming for," Egginton said.

"Whether we're solidly there or not yet, it's too early to say. But I feel the car is more competitive than last year.

"We achieved most of our technical objectives over the winter, and they were targeting closing the gap and making the car better performing and operate over a wider operating window.

"I wouldn't be naive enough to sit here now and say, 'watch this space, we're going to show them all how it's done', because that's not the case.

"But we seem to have taken a step at the moment."

Read Also:

Most teams are currently splitting resources between developing their 2021 cars and preparing for 2022, when an overhaul of the technical regulations threatens to shake up the pecking order.

But Egginton said AlphaTauri would not divert from its original plan on when to fully focus on the 2022 car despite the opportunities that could be on offer this year.

"Not in my mind, in all honesty," Egginton said when asked if a change of plan was a consideration.

"As good as all this is, 2022 is a massive project, and personally, as the leader of the technical group, I don't feel there's any compromise to be had on next year's car.

"We've got to make that deliver. The challenge is to maximise what we do with this car, given the resources we're going to have on it, and as we migrate resources over to the other car.

"But no, I don't feel that I could be in a position to ever say well we'll push more on '21 and '22 is the net result, no. It's a balancing act for all of the teams.

"There's a lot of resource in the technical group being assigned to the new car already. We're not putting all our eggs in one basket in the belief that this is our opportunity. We're trying to get better ever year.

"We look like we were better this year than last year, and last year than the year before. And the same is true for '22. We want to take the next step. I don't feel it would be accepted if we turned around and compromised next year."

shares
comments

Related video

Alonso impressed by "dedicated" Ocon as new Alpine F1 teammate

Previous article

Alonso impressed by "dedicated" Ocon as new Alpine F1 teammate

Next article

Formula 1's sprint qualifying trials plan approved

Formula 1's sprint qualifying trials plan approved
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
The AlphaTauri improvements that mean Gasly’s form is no fluke Prime

The AlphaTauri improvements that mean Gasly’s form is no fluke

Pierre Gasly has driven superbly since demotion from Red Bull in 2019, but the team formerly known as Toro Rosso has come on strong too – building a car that can often challenge Ferrari and McLaren. Here Gasly reveals to ALEX KALINAUCKAS how AlphaTauri has given him the tools needed to rebuild his reputation

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Prime

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to Stuart Codling, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion.

Formula 1
May 15, 2021
How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021