New AlphaTauri CEO spots glaring ‘error’ in snub of key Red Bull component

Thomas Maher
Yuki Tsunoda racing in the Japanese GP at Suzuka for AlphaTauri.

AlphaTauri CEO Peter Bayer has explained how not following in Red Bull's footsteps in the design of the rear suspension was a 'glaring error'.

AlphaTauri CEO Peter Bayer believes his new team striking out on their own with their rear suspension design for 2023 was a mistake.

With AlphaTauri’s AT04 coming on in leaps and bounds through the season after a series of floor updates allowed the rear suspension to be exploited better, the use of Red Bull’s RB19 rear suspension in the closing races saw the car become very competitive.

Looking back on the season, having finished in eighth place after some late points finishes kept them ahead of Alfa Romeo and Haas, new AlphaTauri CEO Peter Bayer said he believed the decisions leading to independent design were made erroneously.

Peter Bayer: The decision to go our own way was an error

Bayer, who will work closely with new sporting director Laurent Mekies to shape the new direction for Red Bull’s sister outfit as outgoing team boss Franz Tost retires, spoke about the decision-making process in an interview with

“The initial decision to go our own way with those critical parts simply was an error, and the people [who made the decision] back then are not with us anymore,” he said.

“I guess engineers always have plenty of arguments [about] why you should do certain things, but I think everybody in the paddock understood now that with this new regulation change and the new downforce pattern, which is so reliant on the floor, the suspension is the next most important thing.

“You’ve got the floor and then you’ve got the suspension. If those two don’t work together, you might as well not go out.”

With Bayer finding his feet with AlphaTauri in recent months, he laughed when asked if there was any sense in trying to outsmart Red Bull on an area of a car given the dominance of the RB18 and RB19.

“I guess that’s the big learning for us for this year, yeah,” he said.

“But at the same time, what is tricky for us as a customer is you get a piece, but you have to make that piece work and it’s very difficult.

“Look at some other teams who have hired ex-Red Bull aerodynamicists and engineers, they made some quick gains but then constant development is not as easy as it looks.

“We’ve seen in Singapore something seemed to work slightly better, but we weren’t really sure. And that’s one of the key aspects of [technical director] Jody [Egginton’s] team, they put a lot of effort into understanding the global concept.

“How can it be actually possible that this [Red Bull] car is so stable, that it has this ability in slow corners, fast corners, straight-line speed? And that’s where Jody and the guys sort of had a breakthrough moment.” recommends

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2024 AlphaTauri to use Red Bull RB19 front suspension

AlphaTauri (or whatever name the team will race under in 2024 as they rebrand) will align far more closely with Red Bull next year, with Helmut Marko confirming the intention is to share as many components and design philosophies as the regulations permit.

However, this is not a decree coming directly from Red Bull Corporate Projects CEO Oliver Mintzlaff, as has been speculated – the German businessman and overseer of Red Bull’s sporting division reaching a mutual understanding with Christian Horner that greater synergy is the path to pursue in the short to medium-term future.

AlphaTauri technical director Jody Egginton has confirmed the plan is to use RB19’s front suspension as the two teams cosy up to each other.

“Each year on synergy we’ve done something different since 2019,” Egginton said.

“And some years, we’ve done a bit more and done something different, some years a bit less. Next year, we’ll carry over our rear end and on the front, we’ll take the Red Bull front suspension on the current car. So, we will be one year behind.

“There have been years where for various reasons we’ve done something a little bit different. But we’ve got the opportunity to do this and the regulations permit it, so we’ll do it as a number of other teams do.”

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