AlphaTauri technical director Jody Egginton says his engineering team spared no effort on its 2021 car to recover the aero losses induced by this year's regulations changes.
The Italian outfit presented its new AT02 on Friday morning, revealing a new smart-looking blue and white matte livery. But under the skin, the Honda-powered car has undergone a series of changes relative to its baseline 2020 AT01 design.
This year's regulation package has resulted in an overall downforce cut of approximately 10%, a change that was achieved by spec modifications to the floor, bargeboards and brake ducts.
"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 and this has required a lot of work to re-optimise around these changes." explained Egginton.
"The work which has been undertaken to develop our car for 2021 goes far beyond compliance with regulation changes and has involved changes to nearly all aero surfaces and also development and repackaging large parts of the car, which are hidden, in order to achieve these changes.”
"We have spent a lot of time working to recover the aero losses as a result of the regulation changes, while also focusing on increasing and improving the cars aerodynamic operating window.
"This activity will continue into the season, with the split of resource between the 2021 and 2022 projects reviewed and adjusted as required to maximise the potential of both projects."
In a bid to rein in costs this season, teams have been given two development tokens to implement significant evolutions. Egginton chose to spend both on a new nose and new front suspension elements while the team opted to incorporate only a limited number of 2020 parts from last year's Red Bull RB16.
"We have elected to carry over the safety cell," added Egginton. "We believe the chassis and power unit provides a good baseline, so we are happy to have spent our tokens elsewhere for 2021.
"The use of Red Bull Technologies-supplied gearbox, rear suspension and some front suspension components is now in its third year for us but for 2021 we have elected to continue with the same rear suspension and 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 Technology supplied steering components to 2020 specification, as permitted by the technical regulations."