Franz Tost believes using Red Bull’s wind tunnel will provide AlphaTauri with a “Big advantage” ahead of the regulation changes.
As part of AlphaTauri’s transition from a sister team to a junior team, they will be using the Red Bull facility in Bedford to develop their 2022 car.
It will allow them to join the rest of the grid in using a 60% scale model, with their own wind tunnel in Bicester being 50%, and team principal Tost thinks this will make a big difference.
“It’s a big advantage to change to the 60 percent wind tunnel because up to now we’ve always had to work with the 50 percent. The 60 percent is of course more accurate and provides us with hopefully more valid data,” he told Motorsport.
“Then we have the second year of the cost cap, which means the top teams should not be in a position to invest so much more money as we do.
“I am looking forward to this new regulation, the cars of ’22. Where we are then from the performance side, I don’t know yet because there are many, many different parts which have to be brought together in the best possible way.
“I hope that our engineering team will be able to do this, and we will compete successfully in 2022.”
Technical director Jody Egginton meanwhile believes that, while their own wind tunnel was good enough, making the move was something of a no-brainer.
“I wanted to go to 60 percent, and that was the obvious choice, so that’s why we’ve done it really. It is a challenge. I think any wind tunnel move is not without risk,” he said.
“But medium-term, it’s the thing to be doing really. We are the only one at 50 percent, and it was a growing question mark in my mind. So given the opportunity to have a 60 percent tunnel, we took it.
When you’re the last person, the last of anyone doing something, and everyone has gone another way, you sort of think, ‘there’s something in this!’.
“Our goals are to be more competitive. This removed a question mark, so we’ve done it. Time will tell. It’s a case of getting our head around it. We’ve got to get on top of it quickly and understand the wind tunnel.
“The people are critical in this to make sure how to use the wind tunnel and take advantage of what we’ve got.”