AlphaTauri's strong start to F1 2021 won't change '22 switch 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.

AlphaTauri's strong start to F1 2021 won't change '22 switch 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 team-mate 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."

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.

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02, Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02, Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

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.

Read Also:

"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 team-mate
Previous article

Alonso impressed by ‘dedicated’ Ocon as new Alpine F1 team-mate

Next article

F1 approves sprint races plan at three rounds in 2021

F1 approves sprint races plan at three rounds in 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Plus

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Plus

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title Plus

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title

After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full

Formula 1
Jun 27, 2022
Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Plus

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Plus

Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022