With the new technical regulations for 2022, which led to “clean design”, Scuderia AlphaTauri CTO Jodi Eginton shares his views on the development of the AT03 and the technical experiments that will determine the coming season.
“For the last two or three years we have been developing the work process and applying it to this car as well. According to the statistics and results we have received recently, we have been quite successful, so I would say that we are on the right trajectory in terms of how we work.
«However, this is not easy, as it is a blank sheet of paper for 2022 that gives potential rewards but also carries risks. The speed at which the car is evolving is a key indicator, but the important question is: how far are we on the path of “development” relative to competitors? You really won’t know about it until the first race of the season when the gloves come off. ”
The premium price plays a role in the development of these brand new cars, with smaller teams such as AlphaTauri expecting to benefit from a flatter field. Eginton said the impact of the spending limit, however, may not be instantaneous.
“I think we can expect some level up if we use the phrase of the moment! I think spending limits will take some time to fully realize what teams are doing, so there are some benefits for teams that, pre-cost limits, didn’t have access to the budgets of bigger teams. You still have to spend your money wisely. ”
Eginton predicts that aerodynamics will be the main topic of discussion this season, and each team will unveil its own design concept.
“Given the extensive changes in aviation regulations, there are obviously many opportunities to experiment with new ideas and new aviation concepts, but at the same time the new rules also provide an increased risk of going the wrong way.
«I am confident that teams have many opportunities to develop innovative solutions in aviation, but at the same time I expect that the hidden details of aircraft development will make a significant contribution to what teams will be able to achieve through airport rules.
«I am sure that people with an interesting range of interpretations of the regulations will appear at the first test, and this will provoke a discussion and investigation of possible directions for the development plans of all teams for the season. “
The team had to contend with the new chassis requirements as well as they worked to find a balance between chassis compliance and aerodynamics.
“The new rules include significant changes in crash test requirements, including size changes that lead to increased chassis structure.
«Changes in chassis tests for rejuvenation are obviously welcome as they further enhance safety, but they required a great deal of effort in order to, first, pass various tests as well as optimize the structure while minimizing weight gain and disrupting aviation development. techniques. However, it should be said that the process of designing the chassis of 2022 went largely according to plan, as well as the homologous procedure.
Another key change in 2022 is the new 18-inch Pirelli tire, an element that, according to Eginton, could have a big impact on the development of aerodynamics.
“This is a significant change, as the impact of wheels and tires on behavior at the airport is quite large. I expect that the new tire-wheel package, as well as brake ducts, as well as the many air surfaces and flows that are influenced by and interact with car corners, will remain an area where we can learn performance as we design our package.
«As for the tires themselves, last year we were able to try them on our car “mule”, so we have data and good data on a number of basic parameters of tires. I think the goals that Pirelli is pursuing are right in terms of trying to reduce the amount of tire management required and better align the delta of performance between each mix.
«The way new tires respond and work is different, and our car performance team is working hard to ensure that our 2022 car can use those features. This work will continue when we learn more about our car in season, and during this process it will be possible to detect performance. This is a significant and enjoyable change, but it gives Pirelli the opportunity to develop a new product in line with other regulatory changes. ”
With all the changes, some elements of the team will remain the same. The power unit will not have a Honda badge, but the team behind the component will continue a new era. AlphaTauri’s technical cooperation Red Bull Race this is another sequel.
“In 2022, directions of synergy [with Red Bull] are in the back – the gearbox, hydraulics, rear suspension, which is very similar to what we had in the past. The difference is that due to the change in the regulations, both teams will work with the same parts specifications in 2022, whereas earlier we launched parts according to the annual design from Red Bull.
Eginton sees the dynamics of the AlphaTauri team as the basis for further success. Thanks to a strong people base, developed team processes and open communications, team structure provides benefits.
“Overall, I believe that the basic philosophy of how we design a car and race is well established, and it creates a good foundation for work. People have really understood the goals and objectives of the team and are enjoying developing cars that are competitive against a strong opposition.
«In terms of Formula One, we are still one of the smaller teams, but our structure means we can move resources in a shorter amount of time, which should ensure faster rotation of priority projects.
«The ethos of the team is that we are very open and honest with each other and I think that is very important. People are not afraid to speak out when they have a look. If something goes wrong, we focus on addressing it, creating a good environment for work, allowing people to grow. ”