AlphaTauri complete move to Red Bull’s bigger wind tunnel facility ahead of new season
AlphaTauri’s future on-track prospects have received a boost after the Italian outfit successfully transitioned their wind tunnel testing to sister team Red Bull’s facility in Bedford.
AlphaTauri were previously the only team on the grid using a wind tunnel which tested on a 50% model, putting them at a disadvantage as all their rivals were using a facility that could accommodate a more representative 60% model.
However, following the introduction of Aerodynamic Testing Restrictions (ATR) from this season, which limits the number of runs a team can do per season depending on their final finishing position the previous season, Red Bull’s wind tunnel now has the capacity to facilitate both squads.
It’s the latest step in a closer collaboration between the two Red Bull-owned racing teams, with AlphaTauri already taking a whole host of non-listed parts from Red Bull for their 2021 challenger.
“We have recently transitioned our wind tunnel testing from our Bicester 50% wind tunnel facility to the Red Bull 60% wind tunnel facility, which is a further major project to deal with,” said AlphaTauri Technical Director Jody Egginton.
“However, it was important to make the jump to a 60% model and the team working out of Bicester have managed this transition very well, so far limiting any disruption as much as possible.”
There has been a large amount of carryover from 2020 to 2021, ahead of major changes to the technical regulations for 2022, however teams were permitted to use two ‘tokens’ to make tweaks.
AlphaTauri have opted to spend theirs on the front of the car, while deciding to use the same rear suspension and gearbox design – supplied by Red Bull Technologies – they ran 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,” added Egginton.
AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost has set his outfit an ambitious target of topping the midfield in 2021, having finished seventh in the constructors’ championship last year with a high of victory at Monza with Pierre Gasly.