In an attempt to claim the third position in this year’s constructor’s championship, AlphaTauri announced they have a few upgrades coming in the next races that should allow them to make a good leap forward.
The first race of the year was a really solid one for AlphaTauri as they managed to make it into Q3 on the mediums with their most experienced driver in the person of Pierre Gasly, before qualifying in P5, while Yuki Tsunoda had an impressive performance for a first Grand Prix weekend even though he did not make it into Q3.
The Austrian team only achieved to score a few points because of a mistake from Pierre Gasly at the beginning of the Grand Prix. Nonetheless, the performances of the AT02 looked very good and they could be in a fight for P4 or P5 in this year’s constructor’s championship.
In order to get the best results possible and to be able to give Alpine and Aston Martin a hard time beating them, the team’s technical director, Jody Egginton wants to be more consistent regarding their performances on different track layouts. The technical director thinks this will help AlphaTauri getting the upper hand in a midfield battle where the performances are so close.
“Last year we were in that mix. But the variance in our performance across the midfield was a bit greater than we wanted. Some weekends we had the car working really well, other the weekends we struggled a little bit. (…) The second half of the year that variance reduced and there were certain things we did to try and do that. And then this year, it’s a sample of one [Grand Prix weekend], it appears we’re back in the mix,” says Egginton
“I was happy with the pace of the car last year but there were a couple of events where we performed really well and a couple of events where we went home a bit sad-faced. So we want to try to minimize that.’
“You’ve got to do it in the midfield because it’s so tight, and it looks still so tight, that if you drop points, everyone is stealing points off everyone and you can’t afford to drop points. We scored a lot of points last year and finished seventh. I think that’s a testament to how tight it is, really,” he added.
In order to push the team forward, the 47 years old Briton thinks they should really focus on understanding where they gained performance and how they did it before engaging themselves into new upgrades that could “upset” other parts of their single-seater.
“I think we’ve got a good view on what the car is and then that allows you to say, right, what do we want to target? So it’s aero development, it’s exploiting more performance from the areas of the car which have been affected by the regulation changes, and making sure that the changes, as we develop that, we don’t upset something else, really. So it’s just rolling development.”
Nonetheless, AlphaTauri is looking like it has found the right path to follow as they admitted already having new parts to test in the following Grand Prix weekends. This should allow them to confirm their observations and to make a good leap forward that should help them ensure their little advantage over Aston Martin and Alpine.
The team wants to concentrate on regaining the aerodynamic loss they suffered due to the new floor regulations. Jody Egginton however seems pretty confident on the subject.
“We recovered a reasonable chunk of load. (…) And now we’re trying to work on increasing the operating window, giving the car a wider operating window aerodynamically to work in, especially in low-speed. And then the driver can exploit that and we’ll go quicker,” Egginton says.
“We’ll have some new bits in Imola, we’ll have some new bits in Portugal, we’ll have some new bits in Spain. It’s incremental, there are no headline-grabbers, but by Spain, we should have a nice step forward.”