AlphaTauri’s F1 team boss Franz Tost says Honda is responsible for 70% of the progress of their new car for 2021 in the year the teams were forced to use last year’s chassis.
AlphaTauri finished seventh last season with Gasly’s win at Monza, and in the next race of this year’s calendar in Imola last year they qualified and finished fourth.
Gasly, as their faster driver in the first race, finished fifth in qualifying, but damaged his front wing and nose in a duel with Ricciardo in McLaren and fell to the back while debutant Tsunoda finished ninth from 13th place and won his first points in Formula 1.
Toast praised the Japanese engine manufacturer, who is retiring from Formula 1 at the end of the season, although Red Bull and AlphaTauri will use their engines after this season under the name Red Bull Powertrains.
“With the chassis, we’ve made little progress,” Tost told Speedweek.
“But the main advantage comes from Honda, which has developed a much more powerful engine.”
“I’d say 70% of the progress comes from Honda and 30% from the car.”
“Fifth place in the constructors’ standings must be our goal this season, ”Tost said after finishing seventh last year and achieving the best placements in 2008 and 2019 when they finished sixth under the Toro Rosso name.
I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone at Honda for putting in so much work over the winter months to provide us with such a competitive PU, essential to our performance. Even if I expected a better result this weekend and today we couldn’t get it together in the way we should’ve done, having a really strong package makes us look forward to Imola now.”
Toast also looked back at the races of his two drivers Gasly and Tsunoda who showed great potential despite missed opportunities for a better result.
“Pierre’s race was compromised as he also had damage to the floor, which meant quite a big loss of performance. Nevertheless, in his last stint he showed some fantastic lap times and was really one of the fastest out there.”
“Unfortunately, we had to retire him towards the end of the race for a suspected gearbox issue that we need to investigate further. At the end, he couldn’t score any points, but he did a fantastic job in qualifying yesterday and he showed the race pace was there today – he was just unlucky.”
“Yuki had his first race in F1 and I must say he really did a fantastic job. We told him his aim was to come back from the first lap with a healthy car to be able to run his race, and that’s exactly what he achieved.”
“He showed a lot of good overtaking maneuverers – I believe he was the car that completed the most overtakes – and his lap times were also very competitive, with the medium tyre as well as with the hard compound.”
“He deserved ninth position and it was really nice to see how he fought against Kimi, Lance and others – I think we can look forward to the season ahead with him.”