SportF1The AlphaTauri upgrade that countered its biggest weakness in...

The AlphaTauri upgrade that countered its biggest weakness in F1

The strengths and weaknesses of the AlphaTauri single-seater have meant that on circuits with slow and twisty sections, such as Monaco and Baku , it has risen to the occasion. On the other hand, on the high-speed tracks, with faster corners, it has been worse.

The team is fully aware of this issue, and the main update leading up to the French Grand Prix focused on helping the car perform better in all conditions and corners, not just specific ones.

Guillaume Dezoteux , head of single-seater performance at AlphaTauri, explained these changes: “This update has mainly revolved around the surroundings of the bottom and the ground itself.”

“Starting with the air intake, the geometry of the fence, the geometry of the edge of the floor, and the geometry of the diffuser and the bodywork around it. The structure of the floor under the car is completely different, and the goal is to produce downforce. in most of the layouts that the car is adopting throughout the lap,” he said.

“In that sense, this update is meeting expectations, which is an overall load gain in most conditions: low speed, medium speed cornering, high and low roll.”


The arrival of the new parts did not drastically alter the DNA of the AT03 design, and did not involve mechanical changes, as the team preferred to optimize what they already had.

The biggest of these modifications, at least from an aesthetic point of view, came in the form of the Red Bull-style upper sidepod and engine cover shoulder, with updated geometry to create a larger channel for the air flow.

Not only is this a local improvement in that area, but it also helps the aerodynamic flow making its way through the sidepods into the bottleneck region, as it will be more protected by the raised body sides above. over.

Alpha Tauri AT03 outer floor fence comparison

Alpha Tauri AT03 Floor Outer Fence Comparison

Alpha Tauri AT03 floor comparison

Alpha Tauri AT03 Floor Comparison

The team has also made changes to its floor, modifying the geometry and position of the fences at the tunnel entrance, while the outer fence has been shortened quite significantly.

This is so that the two interact with each other more smoothly and create a vorticity current to help manage the wake created by the front tire which can be detrimental to aerodynamic performance.

In order for the edge wing to take advantage of the performance improvements that occur at the top, the team has also adjusted its design. A vertical g urney has been added to the rear section where it lifts off the body from the ground (red arrow in the image above, in the circle you can see the previous spec).

The team believes this should help improve ground edge vortex formation and divert more load from the rear of the ground and diffuser as a consequence.

Alpha Tauri AT03 diffuser comparison

Alpha Tauri AT03 Diffuser Comparison

With this vortex enhanced and directed towards the diffuser (upper photo), it has also been decided to make a change in the design of the wall of the diffuser , eliminating the curved cutout (circle, red arrow) and transforming it into a lower edge of length complete.

This, as described by the Faenza team, will help the diffuser to maintain more charge and take advantage of the improvements in the flow that comes from the top of it.

While the changes seemed to make the car feel more ‘edgy’ in practice on Friday, its pace dropped on Saturday, with both drivers struggling in qualifying and the race.

But Paul Ricard ‘s difficult characteristics, coupled with high temperatures, could explain why several teams were puzzled by his fluctuating form over the weekend.

This weekend, at the medium-speed Hungaroring circuit, it will be possible to see much better what the improvement of AlphaTauri has brought to his car.

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