AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost says the performance of the squad’s AT01 through pre-season testing has provided confidence that its target of fifth overall can be realised.
Toro Rosso last year finished sixth in the standings – within reach of Renault – and has been rebranded as AlphaTauri, after Red Bull’s fashion organisation, for 2020.
Tost set AlphaTauri the goal of placing fifth in this year’s Constructors’ Championship at its brand launch prior to testing, and the Austrian reiterated his belief after Barcelona testing.
AlphaTauri, which has retained Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat, completed 769 laps across the six days of running at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya last month.
“Summary so far is that we have a reasonably good car,” said Tost.
“From the mechanical side we are quite satisfied, from the aero side maybe we have to find something against understeering, but generally speaking the car is working as expected.
“Both drivers are doing as well a good job. I am optimistic that we can achieve our goal, which is to be within the first five in the Constructors’ championship.”
Tost also praised the progress displayed by AlphaTauri’s engine partner Honda, in the wake of a smooth pre-season period.
“This was a big step up, we are working together with them for a third year,” said Tost.
“If you look at how the power unit is fitted into the monocoque and if you compare it to the first year there is a big, big difference.
“Everything is optimised, from the electric boxes, to the water pumps, all this stuff, to get a better centre of gravity, weight distribution, and this of course helps, it’s a performance differentiator.
“And they made big steps forwards also from the reliability side and from the performance side.
“How much? This we will see after two to three races as we don’t know how much the other teams made. We need the comparison and for this you need two to three races.”