AlphaTauri have become just the second team to reveal their 2021 car, the Italian squad unveiling the new AT02 that Pierre Gasly and F1 debutant Yuki Tsunoda will pilot this season – and team boss Franz Tost has made his target for the new season clear.
The second ever AlphaTauri to be fielded in F1, the AT02 features Honda’s new-for-2021 power unit on the inside and a brand new livery on the outside, as the team look to build on a strong 2020, which saw Pierre Gasly win the Italian Grand Prix, while Gasly and former team mate Daniil Kvyat’s ultimate haul of 107 points was the most ever secured in the history of either AlphaTauri or Toro Rosso.
Also new at the team is Tsunoda, the 20-year-old Japanese driver replacing Kvyat after finishing the 2020 Formula 2 season in third place. AlphaTauri have been busy getting Tsunoda – one of three drivers to step up from Formula 2 this year, and the first ever F1 driver to have been born after the millennium – prepped for his F1 debut with a number of outings in Toro Rosso and AlphaTauri machinery, including driving a Toro Rosso STR14 at Italian track Misano earlier this month.
Team Principal Tost has set his squad and new driver line-up an ambitious target for the 2021 season.
“In 2020 Scuderia AlphaTauri was a midfield team, we were fighting successfully against the other teams like McLaren, Renault and Racing Point but our target for this year is to consistently be at the top of this midfield pack and to improve further," he said.
"To achieve this, we have to avoid reliability issues and finish all races in the points. This can only happen if we do not make any mistakes, so we have to be 100% concentrated on our job, race after race, on and off the track, because our competitors are hard to fight. We will do our best to provide a good show for all the F1 fans, who I hope to see backat the track filling the grandstands soon."
For Gasly, meanwhile, 2021 will represent the fifth season in which he has wielded a Toro Rosso or AlphaTauri car, with the Frenchman – who revealed in January that he’d been forced to self-isolate after contracting coronavirus – looking to build on a fine 2020, which saw him voted the fifth best performer of the year by his fellow drivers.
Looking ahead to the 2021 season, meanwhile, the AT02 will be on track at Bahrain for pre-season testing on March 12-14, ahead of the season start at the same circuit with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28.