BEVERLY HILLS, February 20, (THEWILL) – Formula One racing team AlphaTauri become the second team to reveal their 2021 car, the all-new AT02 that team drivers Frenchman Pierre Gasly and F1 debutant, the Japanese Yuki Tsunoda, will pilot this season. With the unveiling, team boss Franz Tost has made his target for the new season clear to the rest of the circuit.
The AT02 becomes the second ever AlphaTauri to be fielded in F1. It comes fired by Honda’s new-for-2021 power unit and a brand new coat of paint. With the AT02, the team intends to build on a strong 2020, where Gasly won the Italian Grand Prix, and together with former teammate Daniil Kvyat rewrote the history books with 107 points, the most ever secured total points in the history of either AlphaTauri or Toro Rosso.
Another novelty about the AlphaTauri team is Tsunoda, joining the team after his third-place finish in the 2020 Formula 2 season. The 20-year-old Japanese driver comes to replace Kvyat, who made his second exit from F1 at the end of 2020. Tsunoda is one of three drivers to step up from F2 this year.
The AlphaTauri team has been busy getting the Japanese, who has the record of being the first-ever F1 driver to have been born after the millennium, completely prepped for his F1 debut. This has consisted in a number of outings in Toro Rosso and AlphaTauri machinery, and earlier this month having him drive a Toro Rosso STR14 at the Italian track Misano.
These preparations align with the ambitious target that Tost, the Team Principal, has set for his squad and new driver line-up for the 2021 season Tost himself declared:
“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.
“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 back at the track filling the grandstands soon.”
This is Grasly’s fifth season wielding the Toro Rosso or AlphaTauri. The Frenchman, who spent the best of January self-isolating after testing positive for the coronavirus, is fired by the desire to build on what was a fruitful 2020 season, which saw him voted the fifth-best performer of the year by his fellow drivers, which is no small feat.