AlphaTauri has explained where it has opted to spend its development tokens on the AT02 amid the freeze in car development for 2021.
Last year, it was agreed to delay the new technical regulations until 2022, while a halt was placed on car development from 2020 to 2021 in order to cut costs.
However, teams have two tokens to spend to update its design from last year, with AlphaTauri deciding to allocate its focus on a new nose and a re-designed front suspension.
As a result, the Honda-powered AlphaTauri team will carry over the same rear suspension and gearbox design from 2020, which it takes from sister team Red Bull.
“The use of Red Bull Technologies supplied gearbox, rear suspension and some front suspension components is now in its third year for us,” said AlphaTauri technical director Jody Egginton.
“For 2021 we have elected to continue with the same rear suspension & gearbox design as we used in 2020.
“We’ve elected to use our two tokens for a new nose and also redesigned the outboard front suspension.
“As a result of this we have elected to update some Red Bull Technologies supplied steering components to 2020 specification, as permitted by the Technical Regulations.”
Although there was a development freeze, changes were written into this year’s technical regulations aimed at reducing downforce via alterations to the floor.
Egginton says AlphaTauri has spent a lot of time recovering the lost aero from the refinements, but expects lap times to be similar to those that were produced in mid-2020.
“With the changes to the aero regulations targeting a reduction in downforce, we have been presented with a number of changes we have got to make to the floor, the diffuser and rear brake ducts – this has required a lot of work to reoptimise around these changes,” Egginton said.
“The headline aero numbers have been affected by the aero change, but we have been working really hard to recover the lost performance and also improve the aero dynamic operating window for the car.
“How fast will our car be? It’s not something I would want to put an exact number to just yet.
“Overall, taking everything into account, I would say we will probably see a performance level similar to that seen mid-2020.”