AlphaTauri says it has been “encouraged” to take more Formula 1 parts from sister team Red Bull as part of plans to revolutionise the design of next year’s car.
The Faenza-based outfit opted to go down its own path when designing its two most recent cars for the new ground-effect rules rather than fully utilise its close alliance with parent team Red Bull.
But while Red Bull has dominated this year’s championship, winning all but one of the 16 races, AlphaTauri sits bottom of the constructors’ standings.
Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko felt AlphaTauri’s best hope of moving up the grid was to build a car more akin to Red Bull as far as regulations would allow.
AlphaTauri’s technical director Jody Eddington confirmed the team’s 2024 challenger would have more similarities to Red Bull’s philosophy.
“Since we started this synergy in 2019, the parts we’ve selected off the menu have been different and for next year it’ll be slightly different again, more or less,” said Eddington, as quoted by RaceFans.
“Relative to this year, a bit more. Relative to a couple of the previous years, probably about the same.
“At the end of the day there’s a notional value consideration for customer teams when you start purchasing parts from supplying teams, you’ve got to keep an eye on the budget. But we’ll maximise what’s available to us as we try to do as much as we can.
“The bottom line is there’s three sets of regulations – sporting, technical and financial – and headquarters are saying ‘maximise what you can do’. They’re encouraging us to maximise what we can do.
“It’s become a bit more public lately for various reasons. We’re encouraged to look at everything and explore every area. There’ll be some things that we can’t take. So it’s become a bit more of a thing now.”
AlphaTauri has faced scrutiny over its approach this year having experienced a clear dip in form, scoring just five points so far this season.
It marks a clear decline after finishing sixth in the constructors’ championship in 2021 and scoring a victory at the previous year’s Italian Grand Prix.
“We’re less competitive so people are saying, ‘well, you’re not quick enough, what are you doing?’” Eddington said. “In 2020, 2021, when the car was competitive, it wasn’t really talked about. We took some Red Bull bits, so be it.
“We’re being encouraged. It’s not really a case of control, but it’s good to know that the guys in headquarters have got our back and are encouraging both teams to really maximise what they can do under the regulations.”
When asked if AlphaTauri would use current or older specification parts from Red Bull next year, Eddington did not indicate what direction the team would go in.
“This stuff’s always in discussion,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to say exactly what we’re doing yet.
“We’ve been ‘year minus one’, in 2022 we had the same parts because it was the first year of the regulation, we’ve been ‘year minus two’ in previous times. [That was] because we wanted to be ‘year minus two’.
“The 2021 car was ‘year minus two’ on some bits. We were comfortable with that. It worked well for us. So we’re always pushing Red Bull to support us in the best way possible and where that’s appropriate and where it can be achieved, we’ll take it.”
Eddington did confirm AlphaTauri’s 2024 car would be “substantially different” to its predecessor.
“At the end of the day our aerodynamic concept, although we haven’t got the highest performing car on the grid, is not a stand-out different one to anybody else,” Eddington said.
“We know which way we want to go. And also there’s massive optimisation and other things, but primarily we’re aero-driven.
“So yes, the chassis will be substantially different. But in terms of concept change, we know which way we’re going and we’re reasonably aligned with the direction other teams are going as well. We’ve just got to be more successful in achieving those objectives.”