Scuderia AlphaTauri has unveiled the car it will compete with in the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship, with the AT02 featuring a number of front-end upgrades.
The new car — the second to be launched after McLaren on Monday — was revealed in an AlphaTauri clothing store in Salzburg, Austria, alongside drivers Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda. As a result of a freeze in many regulations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, teams have been limited in what they can do in terms of development with their new cars, as significant changes require them to spend tokens, and technical director Jody Egginton says the front of the car has been his main area of focus.
please welcome the newest addition to the AlphaTauri family, the AT02! 🔥
did we bring the heat? pic.twitter.com/hW6jNYImkG
— Scuderia AlphaTauri (@AlphaTauriF1) February 19, 2021
“I really believe the AT01 was the best car to be produced by the team,” Egginton 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 carry over 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.
“The use of Red Bull Technologies-supplied gearbox, rear suspension and some front suspension components is now in its third year for us but for 2021 we have elected to continue with the same rear suspension and gearbox design as we used in 2020. 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.”
Although limited in many areas, there are aerodynamic changes that are mandated by the 2021 regulations in order to reduce downforce at the rear of the car, and Egginton says these areas of change have led to widespread updates that are allowed under the rules.
“With the changes to the aero regulations targeting a reduction in downforce, we have been presented with a number of changes we have got to make to the floor, the diffuser and rear brake ducts and this has required a lot of work to reoptimize around these changes.
“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. This activity will continue into the season, with the split of resource between the 2021 and 2022 projects reviewed and adjusted as required to maximize the potential of both projects.”
The AT02 will be the final car produced by the team that is officially Honda-powered, with AlphaTauri to be supplied by Red Bull Powertrains — using Honda’s technology — from next season.