Those commanded by Franz Tost will again make use of key components manufactured directly by Red Bull and that those from Milton Keynes will implement in their RB18, all after staying anchored in elements of the RB15 for design convenience.
The regulatory revolution that is coming in 2022 in Formula 1 will set, according to the teams, a precedent in the history of the premier category of motorsport. While the power units will remain largely the same in essence, albeit with last minute modifications until February 28, when they will be frozen until 2026, the aerodynamics of the single-seaters will change completely.
In this process, the FIA and Formula 1 have worked together to ensure that no team finds a loophole in the rules and let’s see a new ‘Brawn case’ as it happened in 2009 with the double diffuser.
However, there are still items excluded from the general list that client computers can buy from their manufacturers: the name of these will be ‘transferable’ components in 2022, a resource that this year AlphaTauri will exploit with the permission of Red Bull.
After taking the leap into the void in 2020 in an attempt to gain some independence from the parent company with the AT01, AlphaTauri did not use the latest Red Bull gearbox or its rear suspension, but continued to use the RB15 (2019) despite the fact that this would not have meant the use of any token.
However, in 2022 this will change completely: the technical director of those from Faenza, Jody Eggington, assured that as it is a new generation of single-seaters they will start on equal terms. “We will use the gearbox, hydraulics and rear suspension from the 2022 Red Bull,” he said.
“They have committed to manufacturing the same parts for both teams”
«They have promised to manufacture the same parts for both teams, as the regulations insist. The subtle difference is that all aerodynamic surfaces of the suspension, cladding, have to be team specific, but the mechanical parts will be from Red Bull,” Egginton added.
«The front of the car will be all ours. In the last three years we have done a kind of mixture; sometimes we have taken more, in the first year of synergy we took almost all the front suspension. Later we took the inner part of the suspension, and then in the last year we mixed it up, “he continued.
Quirky work model
Being a modest team, at AlphaTauri they plan their season year after year. “For a smaller team, using a gearbox like this allows you to focus on other things. In the first year of synergy, 2019, we had staff who had been designing gearbox parts that we moved to other activities. It’s been challenging, but also rewarding,” Egginton explained.
“We have a fairly flexible design office: If we suddenly decide we’re going to buy some inner front suspension components, then the guys who would normally design them are going to do something else. We can shift our resources to where we think we can get the most out of it,” he added.
Therefore, AlphaTauri’s philosophy is not to buy everything possible from Red Bull, but to make the most of the resources available to it, such as the wind tunnel of Bedford It’s a 30 minute drive from Milton Keynes, a world away from Faenza. However, a small working group resides near these facilities so that normalcy reigns.
“If our concept car doesn’t fit certain parts of Red Bull, we’ll do it ourselves, but the gearbox is the only fixed part we take. “The initial AT02 was developed in our Bicester tunnel at 50%. We presented the car and then started work in Bedford towards the end of January, so we launch it in one tunnel and develop it in another».
Instead of working with 50/50 mock-ups, this more up-to-date tunnel allows them to get to the 60%, which translates into greater fidelity of the final pieces. “The benefit of having two different models is that you can compare them. There is always a learning curve in a new installation, and we also have more time constraints because we have to share the tunnel with another team, whereas before we could go whenever we wanted, “he explained.
“In general we are quite satisfied, it was important to take that step to be ready for the 2022 regulations. This has clear benefits, and we were the last team to make the change. At first we didn’t get the performance we wanted, we could have been more efficient at 50%, but looking ahead was the ideal time to change. We made the right decision, but those changes are never easy,” Egginton said.
“It was important to take that step to be ready for the 2022 regulation. This has clear benefits”
Therefore, AlphaTauri’s objectives are to continue growing… but with its feet on the ground. “We are on a good path, perfecting our processes, getting closer year after year, but we are still a fairly young team with young staff. We probably have 150-200 people less than some of the bigger teams, but I think we can continue like this.”
“The goal is more of the same: apply the same philosophy as it seems to work. This is a completely new regulation, so there is room to move forward. What we’re seeing in aerodynamic progress is in line with everything we’ve done before,” Egginton concluded.