While the majority of teams in F1’s midfield have already debuted a significant update for their cars this season, AlphaTauri has taken a more conservative approach, favouring subtle tweaks instead of large overhauls.
But it caused the team to lose ground on its midfield rivals lately, failing to score points in any of the last three races – a feat only matched by Williams, which sits at the foot of the constructors’ standings.
AlphaTauri technical director Jody Egginton said at the last race in Austria that the “reasonably large” update in France would aid the team after being “out of phase” with its rivals.
Details of the package arrived on Friday as part of the FIA’s pre-event technical submission, confirming AlphaTauri’s focus on the floor for upgrading the AT03.
Alpha Tauri AT03 rear wing
Photo by: Giorgio Piola
The floor body, fences and edge have all been revised as part of the update, including a complete reprofiling of the floor body in a bid to increase the amount of aerodynamic load.
The outer-most fence on the floor is shorter and the camber line has changed, while the inboard fence has a more rearward trailing edge position, according to the team.
AlphaTauri also opted for a narrower floor edge with a cut out, as well as adding a small flick downstream of the existing floor edge wing.
Tweaks have also been made to the diffuser, which has more aft camber added on the trailing edge and a cut-out in the sidewall removed, while the shoulder bodywork on the engine cover has been made taller and moved wider, creating a gulley in the top deck.
AlphaTauri AT03 technical detail
Photo by: Luke Smith
One-time grand prix winner Gasly has been vocal about AlphaTauri’s need for updates in recent weeks, and was upbeat about the potential in the update when speaking on Thursday.
“I don’t think we are missing much, but it’s extremely tight in the midfield, and two or three tenths can move you up and down like seven or eight positions at the moment,” said Gasly.
“We’ve just being slowly sliding towards the back of the midfield in the last couple of races, and hopefully these upgrades can put us back in the fight.
“I’m extremely looking forward to see what it brings in what we were going to be able to achieve.”
Teammate Yuki Tsunoda hoped the update could allow AlphaTauri to fight for the “top seven”, which was realistic “based on the numbers we’ve got” from simulations.
“Every race track is behaving in a different way with that car,” said Tsunoda.
“Hopefully we’ll be at least three-tenths or four-tenths quicker than previous conditions.”