AlphaTauri had a very good start to the 2021 season, with Pierre Gasly qualifying in P5 twice, but the team only scored eight points in the races.
The Frenchman fought his way back to P7 in Imola, but that didn’t help the team much either, as Yuki Tsunoda didn’t finish in the points. The Japanese driver, however, put in a great performance on his debut in Bahrain and finished in the points. Nevertheless, the tendency is for a top-5 place among the constructors, as the pace of the Honda engine is very strong. The same can be seen at brother team Red Bull.
Despite this success, the leaders of the Italian racing team say that they are still focused on the car for 2022, as it is a very big challenge, the success of this year would not change these plans.
Jody Egginton, technical director of AlphaTauri, sees the team as a “top team in the midfield” and a contender for a fifth place among the constructors:
“Our target is to mix it for fifth in the championship, that’s what we’re aiming for. 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.”
Many of the teams in Formula 1 are currently dividing up their resources for 2021 and 2022 in the same way, weighing things up depending on the situation. AlphaTauri still doesn’t want to let go of their “big” plans for 2022, despite the possibilities of a top spot this season:
“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 maximize 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.”