AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost has set his outfit the ambitious target of leading the midfield pack in 2021.
With their new identity and promotion from Red Bull B-team to sister team, AlphaTauri showed flashes of midfield-leading performance in 2020, though inconsistency and at times rotten luck, such as Pierre Gasly’s Imola retirement from P5, meant they never truly troubled the likes of McLaren on the scoreboard as the Woking squad wrapped up P3 in the Constructors’ standings.
Ultimately P7 in the Constructors’ Championship was where AlphaTauri finished up, though their haul of 107 points was the highest total in the history of the team, stretching back to their days as Toro Rosso. Gasly also took the team to victory at Monza, repeating Sebastian Vettel’s achievement with Toro Rosso back in 2008.
And Tost has plotted out the next step for AlphaTauri, that being to move to the front of the midfield pack on a consistent basis.
Speaking at the launch of AlphaTauri’s 2021 challenger, the AT02, Tost said: “In 2020 Scuderia AlphaTauri was a midfield team, we were fighting successfully against the other teams like McLaren, Renault and Racing Point.
“But our target for this year is to consistently be at the top of this midfield pack and to improve further.”
But for this to happen, Tost knows his team need near-flawless reliability and consistent points-scoring results.
“To achieve this, we have to avoid reliability issues and finish all races in the points,” he continued.
“This can only happen if we do not make any mistakes, so we have to be 100% concentrated on our job, race after race, on and off the track, because our competitors are hard to fight.”
For the 2021 season AlphaTauri will have one of the more interesting driver pairings on the grid.
In Gasly they have a driver who has responded superbly to his Red Bull demotion back in 2019, and is now relishing the opportunity to serve as a leader in the AlphaTauri team.
And on the other side of the garage he now has Honda-backed rookie Yuki Tsunoda.
The Japanese racer has promised to bring his attacking style to Formula 1 and not fear making mistakes, making him one to watch this season.
Tsunoda only arrived in Europe a few years back, but his rapid rise through the junior categories has been born from an ability to adapt seamlessly to new surroundings.
In 2020, his rookie Formula 2 season, Tsunoda battled for the title against the more experienced duo of Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott, ultimately finishing P3 in the standings.