AlphaTauri opt against using loophole on non-listed parts for 2021

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AlphaTauri has opted not to use a loophole that benefits teams who buy in non-listed parts for 2021.

As part of the cost-saving measures introduced due to Covid-19, some areas of the car have been frozen while development has been limited by bringing back the token system, with only two permitted for each team.

But in the case of AlphaTauri and Racing Point, the rules allowed them to upgrade parts they bought in from 2019-spec to 2020-spec in addition to their tokens.

AlphaTauri though, who used the entire rear end of the Red Bull RB15 last year, has decided not to capitalise and take on RB16-spec parts this year.

“We’re going to carry over the rear end," technical director Jody Eggington confirmed to The Race.

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“We thought about it long and hard. It’s very nice when you can go to the sweet shop and pick what you want, but the areas we want to develop are at the other end of the car.

“We are not uncomfortable with the basic package, so we are very focused on the areas we are going to develop.”

While that might seem a strange decision, the AlphaTauri chief explained that adapting the car to the free 2020-spec Red Bull parts may have required changes that did need tokens.

“Some bits you can have token-free, some bits you need to spend tokens,” added Egginton.

“We’ve done our due diligence and decided where we want to spend our resource. You can do a lot of work packaging a new rear end or you can put that resource onto the front of the car and do something there next.

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“A wholesale upgrade is not always the right thing to do. You go to the sweet shop but you have to integrate all that to your package.

“Some of it you might be thinking ‘why are we bothering?’, it’s not doing anything for us. Or maybe we’ll make a mistake or maybe we’ll be under-resourced on another part of the car.

“We’ve got a senior design and engineering team and we sit down and ask which areas we are going to attack. Where’s the biggest return? Where do we want to deploy the budget and the resource? We’ve managed those decisions reasonably well.”