AlphaTauri’s new AT02, revealed today, retains a significant part of the architecture of last year’s car but incorporates changes elsewhere, as this interactive comparison of the two shows.

The team has made the same aerodynamic changes as their rivals in order to comply with new rules to cut downforce for the 2021 F1 season.

“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 technical director Jody Egginton.

The survival cell is the same as on the AT01, as are the gearbox and rear suspension. However the team has also used its development ‘tokens’ to upgrade the front end of the car.

“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,” said Egginton.

“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 car’s aerodynamic operating window.”

The changes to the front end involved incorporating some parts from Red Bull’s RB16, Egginton added.

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AlphaTauri used tokens and 2020 Red Bull parts to overhaul front end of AT02

The aerodynamic regulations are intended to reverse the rapid gains in lap times seen last year, which contributed to tyre failures at some races. Egginton believes they are already back at mid-2020 levels, but Tost is waiting to see proof.

“It is difficult to tell you something about the performance of the car,” said Tost. “If you ask the engineers now they tell you the car is very good, much faster than last year, but I just want to see it [in] the first lap times we have in Bahrain. After the Bahrain test I can tell you more.”

The other major change on the car is its upgraded Honda power unit, some details of which were revealed by the manufacturer today.

The end product is wrapped in a livery which is a slight reworking of the new design introduced last year when the team morphed from Toro Rosso into AlphaTauri, Red Bull’s fashion brand. Tost is at least confident the team will “have the most beautiful car on the starting grid” in 2021.

Use the sliders below to transition between images of the 2021 and 2020 AlphaTauri F1 cars.

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Note these images may have been altered for ease of comparison and should not be used as a reference for measurements.

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