AlphaTauri will ‘take more parts from the Red Bull menu’ for 2024 car overhaul

Formula 1

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AlphaTauri’s new car for the 2024 Formula 1 season will be significantly different to the AT04 as they have been told to use more parts from senior team Red Bull.

While Red Bull have dominated the 2023 world championship, winning all bar one of the 16 races so far, the junior squad languishes at the bottom of the championship table with just five points.

AlphaTauri is at risk of ending the year with their worst championship result during Red Bull’s 18-year ownership of the team. Their lowest championship finish in that time was 10th place with eight points in 2009, when they were known as Toro Rosso.

The two teams have used the power units, now known as Honda RBPT, since 2019. They also share some other parts. But after AlphaTauri diverged from the world champions’ design in some areas this year, Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko said its future approach should be “based on Red Bull Racing, as far as the regulations allow.”

AlphaTauri technical director Jody Egginton confirmed the team will follow Red Bull’s design lead more closely with its new design for 2024.

“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,” he explained. “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.”

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Egginton said the drive to bring AlphaTauri’s car design into line with Red Bull’s has come from the top.

“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.”

The team has faced more questions about its approach this year because of its slump in form, said Egginton.

“We’re less competitive so people are saying, ‘well, you’re not quick enough, what are you doing?’ 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.”

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Next year will be the third season under the revised technical regulations which were introduced in 2022. Egginton did not indicate whether the parts AlphaTauri will obtain from Red Bull next year will be current or older specification, but pointed out they have used two-year-old designs previously.

“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.”

AlphaTauri has brought multiple updates to its car in recent races and scored its best result of the season to date in the Singapore Grand Prix. Egginton said is pleased with the improvements the team has made following its poor start to 2023.

“We started the season not satisfied with where we were. We’d missed a couple of our targets, achieved a couple of our targets, and the development this season has been strong to recover from that.

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“We appear to be in a good direction now, putting regular updates on the car. So the ability to carry that through is a positive thing.”

However while work on the 2023 car is continuing late into the current season, next year’s car will be a substantial overhaul.

“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. 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.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
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22 comments on “AlphaTauri will ‘take more parts from the Red Bull menu’ for 2024 car overhaul”

  1. Makes sense to do what is possible within the regulatory framework. Whether this framework is satisfactory is another debate. On the short term it should lead to more competitiveness which is desirable. Not much use for teams lingering at the back of the grid most of the time.

  2. “based on Red Bull Racing, as far as the regulations allow.”

    I suspect there was an expectation every team would largely self-sufficient when the budget cap restrictions and aerodynamic handicapping rules were formulated. Having two teams making common use of parts, one being at the front of the grid and one team at the rear, does raise some questions. For example, how are we supposed to know if Red Bull Racing is abiding by their wind tunnel time restrictions if the same part, e.g. a front wing, appears on both a Red Bull Racing car and an AlphaTauri car? Did that front wing use AT’s wind tunnel time or Red Bull’s wind tunnel time? If it just used AT’s time then it means RBR got their front wing without loss of aerodynamic testing time.

    1. Aerodynamic components are listed parts, and therefore can’t be shared…

    2. Indeed I was wondering the same thing. It seems like a rather big loophole in the buget-cap regulations. Just imagine next year – having the 23 Red Bull (with a different sticker) and some add-ons and the 24 Red Bull both destroying the competition. Can’t imagine teams like Alpine, Williams, Haas or Sauber will be very impressed by this situation.

    3. e.g. a front wing

      Sharing a front wing is NOT allowed under the rules. The front wing (i.e. all ‘aerodynamic components’) are Listed Team Components and are unique to each team (with IP and all that).
      Even reverse engineering is not allowed anymore.

      The (unique) parts allowed to be shared (Transferable Components) do not benefit from testing in the windtunnel of a competitor.

      The only loophole that exists is the Transfer Price of those Transferable Components; development costs can be spread out over more items.
      But that is valid for all sharing between teams (eg. Ferrari and Haas) and co-developing parts with other parts of the wide business (teams with other racing interests or car manufacturer links).

    4. Don’t some teams already sell parts to other teams though? For example Aston Martin’s gearbox and front suspension is bought from Mercedes. Haas and Ferrari also share a few common parts.

      1. You are right there @yaru – some components can be had from other teams. The FIA has established a system to evaluate whether the internal pricing used is OK (i.e. not overly subsidising either the “supplier” or the “buyer” of those parts).

  3. Now that it’s confirmed RBR’s baseline will continue until the 2026 rule change, the B-team will handle aerodynamic development for the sister team. Splitting projects between the two teams no longer seems logical.

    1. Thats not how it works… but you do know Haas already uses this loophole/option and i guess Ferrari can profit from it…
      But nope.. read the rules about listed parts and unlisted parts..

      1. @seth-space
        Quite amusing that you’re the one giving advice about reading the rules, considering your knack for conveniently ignoring them. Listed parts and unlisted parts nomenclature is no longer used since the start of 2022. There are listed team components (LTC), transferrable components (TRC), standard supply components (SSC) and open source components (OSC).

  4. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    3rd October 2023, 12:01

    I think it’s for Alpha Tauri to be sold. What purpose do they offer?

    1. What purpose do they offer?

      – driver development
      – moving billboards
      – positive cash flow (if they find a business model bringing in more cash than they spend)
      – value appreciation (even if there is a negative cash flow, it might be worthwhile to wait with selling the team until values are even higher.) When the ‘anti-dilution’ fee gets bumped up from €200M to the next level, then all existing teams automatically increase their market value.

      1. – positive cash flow (if they find a business model bringing in more cash than they spend)

        Rumors from the RB camp suggest that the new RB sport CEO, Oliver Mintzlaff, immediately pushed for Alpha Tauri’s sale after reviewing the balance sheet. Christian Horner had to persuade him of Alpha Tauri’s “value”, even though Marko was quite frustrated with him.

    2. Each team also get one vote, so having two out of ten votes helps. They also collect and share data with each other, which helps.

      1. Data sharing is not allowed.

        1. Data sharing is not allowed.

          Neither is exceeding the cost cap. Look how that worked out.

  5. “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.”

    Definitely not a case of control. You know, it’s not like the people ‘encouraging’ them are in any sort of hierarchical relation with these folks. Something that might lead to them being labelled the ‘headquarters’. Definitely not. All fine!

    Now that the FIA is starting to excert a bit more power, it’s high time to also put things in place to eventually, though the sooner the better, stop Red Bull from running four cars.

    1. I doubt FIA will do anything in this regard.

  6. I wish Red Bull would use more AlphaTauri parts!

    1. Aha, would certainly increase this season’s competition!

    2. Given the WCC is wrapped up I think Max should challenge himself and take Dan’s seat for the rest of the year and drop Liam in the RedBull seat until Dan returns, that’d make it a lot more interesting for all of us. I wonder if he’d still wrap up the drivers championship in the sprint … and would Serg hold onto P2 …

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