F1 team AlphaTauri, formerly known as Toro Rosso, have today launched their car for the 2021 season. Named the AT02 following its predecessor AT01 in the 2020 campaign, the vehicle certainly has a genuine aesthetic appeal to it.
They have now joined McLaren as the second team to launch their car, who did so themselves early this week. Needless to say, the team will certainly be delighted with the work they have put in on their AT02 machinery.
Team principal Franz Tost stated, “The decision to go for Pierre and Yuki in 2021 was taken because Scuderia AlphaTauri’s philosophy is still to give talented young drivers from the Red Bull Junior Program the opportunity to step up to F1 and to educate them – this is why Yuki now gets his chance.”
Confident 2021 will be a successful F1 season, said Tost
“With Pierre on Yuki’s side we have an experienced driver, who can help our Japanese rookie to develop faster, but at the same time we can aim for good results. I think this pair is the best possible scenario to achieve both our targets, and I’m also confident this will be a successful one.”
Japanese engine maker Honda will continue to power the AT02 for the forthcoming season. Following 2021, they will receive their power units from the newly formed ‘Red Bull Powertrains’ since they are part of the racing group alongside Red Bull Racing.
Meanwhile, on the track, rookie Yuki Tsunoda has attained considerable mileage ahead of the official winter testing in Bahrain. With tests in Misano and Imola in a 2019-spec car, he has now gained some valuable amount of practice in F1 machinery.
Can AlphaTauri break out of the lower midfield positions in 2021?
AlphaTauri have more often than not been shock race winners and lower midfield finishers, and they would want to change that perception. Mr. Tost, by his own admission last week, said that he expects this 2021 car to be faster than their 2020 challenger.
Having refreshed their driver’s lineup to pair Tsunoda alongside Pierre Gasly means there is a lot more youth and dynamism to their racing now. In collaboration with what could be a relatively more fast and reliable car, they may just break into the Top 5 during the season.
Therefore, the Faenza-based outfit’s fans will look keenly onto testing to see how pacy their cars are. Any signals picked up from there will probably indicate how the team’s season could pan out in 2021.