Over the course of the two races that went off in the 2021 season, we’ve seen how the teams are in levels of comparative performance now. Within the Ferrari improvement, the little steps that Alfa Romeo and Williams are going forward and Aston Martin’s lack of pace and reliability, the gap in the midfield of the grid is now open and is giving Alpha Tauri a glimpse of achievements for historic championship standings. That’s how technical director, Jody Egginton, has stated to Motorsport.com.
"Our target is to mix it for fifth in the championship, that's what we're aiming for,"
"Whether we're solidly there or not yet, it's too early to say. But I feel the car is more competitive than last year.”
"We achieved most of our technical objectives over the winter, and they were targeting closing the gap and making the car better performing and operate over a wider operating window.”
But inside the team, Egginton assures that they were not overconfident during the winter and waited for the official competition to start, and now, they’re happy with the overcome of things.
"I wouldn't be naive enough to sit here now and say, 'watch this space, we're going to show them all how it's done, because that's not the case. But we seem to have taken a step at the moment."
But beyond all, at AlphaTauri they’re already thinking of 2022 and the regulation changes that will require more than designing the new challenger. It’s about resources and time, and at Faenza, they are ready to move on at equaling efforts for next year.
"As good as all this is, 2022 is a massive project, and personally, as the leader of the technical group, I don't feel there's any compromise to be had on next year's car.” Said Egginton.
"We've got to make that deliver. The challenge is to maximise what we do with this car, given the resources we're going to have on it, and as we migrate resources over to the other car.”
"But no, I don't feel that I could be in a position to ever say well we'll push more on '21 and '22 is the net result, no. It's a balancing act for all of the teams.”
"There's a lot of resource in the technical group being assigned to the new car already. We're not putting all our eggs in one basket in the belief that this is our opportunity. We're trying to get better every year.”
With a strong start for the championship and good results and performances from both Gasly and Tsunoda, Alpha Tauri is aiming high. Having finished 7th in last year's standings and 6th being their best result in a season (2019), 5th looks hard but possible. Reliability and luck are things they’ll need, as talent and a good car are already on their side.