AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost feels that the big teams will continue to have the edge in Formula 1 despite the new cost cap aimed at preventing squads from spending their way to success in the sport.
The cap came into effect last year and has been tightened further to $140 million for 2022, when teams also have to work on adapting to new rules and regulations on car and chassis design.
But Tost says that the larger teams like Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari will still benefit from their past spending on modernising facilities and resources, which means they will stay ahead of the smaller operations like his.
“We still have to work on the infrastructure, to optimise everything on this side,” he is reported as saying by Motorsport.com this week.
“We bought a new hall, and we will make a new building,” he continued. “We finish in two years, and there are a lot of things going on to jump us in a good position.
"But it's not only us. The others do the same. It's what Formula 1 is, a big fight everywhere.”
A key area of concern for Tost is simulation technology. "Simulation tools are getting more and more important, because we are running less at the track," he pointed out.
"We simply don't have that," he admitted. “We have a good budget, but we never were in a position to invest so much money for simulation tools.
"They invested millions in the last few years for this," he said. "You need to have this, and I think that there we still have some deficiencies.”
Tost said that a lot would now depend on how well the ten teams did in interpreting this year's new rules and regulations, with one mistake possibly making the difference between success and failure in 2022.
“It’s a very unknown story because it's completely new everything,” he acknowledged. “I trust our engineers because they have built two good cars [in previous years].
"Why shouldn't they be able to make AT03 also very competitive, even if it's a completely new car?" he asked. "The aero group is doing a very good job and they are going in the right direction."
However Tost knew that it was never quite that straightforward. “There are from the technological side also different philosophies," he said.
"[At the moment] we don't have any comparisons with others," he added. "I just hope that we go in the right direction.
“Where we then really end up, I don't know. But I trust our team."