AlphaTauri aiming for fifth place ‘or better’

Frank Parker
Yuki Tsunoda driving the AlphaTauri AT03. Spain, February 2022.

Yuki Tsunoda driving the AlphaTauri AT03 on day one of testing. Spain, February 2022.

AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost is feeling bullish about the season ahead and is aiming for a fifth place finish, or higher in the Championship.

The team were able to pump in a total of 308 laps over the course of the Barcelona shakedown, the first of two three-day tests, and looked solid throughout.

There is a sense of optimism at Red Bull’s sister team and despite Pierre Gasly bringing out the red flags on Friday after an off at Turn 5, the team are confident that they can be competitive in 2022.

So much so, that the Italian outfit are aiming for fifth place in the Constructors, “or better”.

“I expect us to be better than last year and to finish around fifth place among the constructors – or better,” said Tost as quoted by Motorsport.com. “That’s not out of the question.”

Pierre Gasly looks into the AlphaTauri. Spain, February 2022.
Pierre Gasly looks into the cockpit of his AlphaTauri AT03. Spain, February 2022.

The first two days were strong for AlphaTauri with both Gasly and team-mate Yuki Tsunoda managing to get the mileage in, the former even setting the second fastest time on Thursday.

Tost is confident after the first test, hailing the AT03’s good benchmark.

“The foundation of the car is pretty good in terms of performance and reliability,” explained Tost. “Both drivers are happy with the car and felt comfortable right from the start.

“Fortunately, we didn’t have any reliability issues. That’s important.

“In general, though, I expect a successful season from us, because the basis is good. Better than expected.

“I am convinced that our engineers will go in the right direction. We have two very good drivers. The team has also improved.”

Despite the teams’ close links with senior squad Red Bull, the team have designed the AT03 from the ground up.

Last year, the team started working with a brand new windtunnel which enabled the team to use 60 percent models, opposed to the 50 percent ones used previously. The 2021 car, the AT02, was developed using the new windtunnel and Tost admits that only now are the benefits being felt.

“It took time to understand the new wind tunnel,” explained the AlphaTauri boss. “To get the best out of it, you need a good knowledge and understanding.

“The aerodynamics team did a great job with last year’s car, and the current car is also a good car aerodynamically.”

 

After the first three-day shakedown at Barcelona, F1 moves to the warmer climate of Bahrain for the final three-day test before the Bahrain Grand Prix. Tost admits that temperatures are still a big unknown for the teams and hopes that a move to the Middle East will give a better indicator.

“The temperatures here are not what we will have during the season,” Tost continued. “I hope our car will work well in hotter conditions.

“I know a couple of compounds don’t work in these conditions, at least on our car. But that’s a question of temperature for me, and that’s why I don’t like the February tests in Barcelona.”

 

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