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F1 | AlphaTauri unveils new car, Franz Tost: "I hope these cars will be closer together"

"It's not easy to estimate where the teams will be because everything is new" said the team principal after the AT03 unveiling. "Pierre and Yuki? I'm very pleased with my drivers line-up"

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F1 | AlphaTauri unveils new car, Franz Tost: "I hope these cars will be closer together"
Fuente imagen: AlphaTauri Official Website

It is unveiling season and all the teams are breking covers over their new challengers for the 2022 Formula 1 championship. All teams will follow a new set of aerodinamic regulations and we are already noticing some big differences between the cars unveiled until now.

After Red Bull's unveiling last week, it was little sister AlphaTauri's turn on Monday, when Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda gave the world a first glimpse of the new AT03, together with the brand's new clothing line. Last year the Faenza-based team matched its best ever points score, ending in sixth place behind Alpine. The order this year might change completely, thanks to the new regulations.  

"All the teams have had to design this new generation of car from zero, from a blank piece of paper - said Franz Tost about it after the AT03 unveiling - although everything is quite restricted by the regulations, it's possible that one team has found a very special solution and will therefore have a performance advantage. It's not easy to estimate where the teams will be because everything is new, from the mechanical to the aerodynamic side, but I personally hope that the cars will be closer together. Realistically, we will only have an idea of how well Scuderia AlphaTauri will perform after the first tests, and we'll have to wait until after the first two or three races to have a better picture". 

A lot of factors might have an effect on the upcoming season, from the budget cap to the new regulations to the time and personnel spent on the develop of the new challenger.

"I think that the cost cap will have an effect, because this year it's been brought down by a further five million. It should make a difference, but as the big teams were able to benefit from a larger number of people until summer last year, they of course had an advantage - Tost explained - they were able to do a lot more research and development work, especially using simulation tools, and could try several different design philosophies to find the best solution for them. Therefore, it could be the case that the top teams will still have an advantage, but the gap between the top teams and the rest of the eld should be smaller and all of the cars are expected to be much closer together. With this new era of cars, we should have more action on track and a more compact field, which translates into more fun for the spectators.

"However, I think the full effect of the cost cap will only be seen in 2023 with a further budget reduction, because at that point no team will have an advantage, and everyone will have to take care to stay within the cost cap. Last year, the cost cap was absolutely of no concern for us, as we operated at a level far below it, but it seems that these completely new cars are much more expensive than those from previous years. This will make it hard for all the teams to stay within the limits but that will help to bring the cars closer together in performance terms and I think that's very positive.

The team, that will be powered once again by Japanese manufacturer Honda, will face a 23 race season, a limit that tema principal Tost does not want to cross: 23 is enough! 

"Last year, we were lucky because the races were very interesting, there were always fights, but we can't expect that this will always be the case. So, for me 23 races is the absolute limit, not from the workload point of view, but because I am concerned that with such a high number of races, in the end it could cause people to lose interest in Formula 1. [...] Formula 1 should be a premium product and we really should think about maybe reducing the number of races to keep it special. Personally, I am ne with 23 races or more, but this is not the question. The question is what's best for the future of Formula 1".

For the second year straight Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda will lead the team after a strong season in 2021. The Frenchman - who already won a GP in Monza 2020 - showed once again what he is capeble of, collecting a lot of strong results in the top 5. On the other side, the Japanese driver, who is not a rookie anymore, took every possible chance to learn and understand Formula 1, not leaving any chances behind.

"I'm very pleased with this driver line-up. Pierre is a fantastic driver and if we provide him with a really good car, he has shown he is able to win races and finish on the podium. Yuki is a very high-skilled driver and on several occasions, he was able to show it last year, especially in the last three races, where he performed really well - said Tost - for him, 2021 was the typical year for a rookie driver in his first season in Formula 1, where downs and mistakes are unavoidable. As a team, we prepared him well and he had some good performances at the beginning of the season. Then, we had to race on tracks he didn't know and of course, with the high level of performance in Formula 1, it's not easy for a rookie driver to deliver immediately, but by the end of the season, when he got more familiar with the car, with the techniques, with the engineers, he showed really good performance. In Abu Dhabi, he finished fourth, so I'm sure he'll be competitive. In his leading role, Pierre has already showed that he can deliver great results, so I expect a lot from both drivers this year."

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