AlphaTauri eye 2021 improvement

20 February 2021 05:30:54 GMTPlus10

AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost says the goal for the 2021 season is to be the best of the rest in Formula 1 after launching their new car, the AT02.

Red Bull's junior team won their first Grand Prix in 12 years last season when Pierre Gasly claimed a shock victory in Italy.

However, despite that marque moment, AlphaTauri, formally known as Torro Rosso, ended the campaign down in seventh spot in the Constructors' championship, one place lower than their efforts in 2019.

At the unveiling of their car for the 2021 campaign, Tost says the target this year is to remain competitive and to continue to challenge the likes of Renault and Racing Point in the battle for supremacy in midfield, behind the big three of Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes.

"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," he said.

"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 per cent concentrated on our job, race after race, on and off the track, because our competitors are hard to fight."

AlphaTauri have decided to make a change to their driving line-up for the 2021 season with Russian Daniil Kvyat replaced by Japanese rookie Yuki Tsunoda.

He will partner Gasly, who is entering his fourth season in Formula 1 and third with AlphaTauri.

The 25-year-old Frenchman has rebuilt his reputation at AlphaTauri after returning to the team midway through the 2019 season following a failed stint with Red Bull.

He says he feels he now has some extra responsibility heading into this season as the clear number one driver of the team with Tsunoda added to the ranks but feels capable of handling those expectations.

"I'm ready to take on the role of team leader. Yuki is a very quick driver, and he will help us move the team forward – we will work together to achieve that," said Gasly.

The new Formula 1 season is due to get underway on 26th March in Bahrain and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton heads into the campaign 1.72 to retain his Drivers' championship.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen is a 2.10 chance.

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