AlphaTauri: No one would stop us challenging Red Bull in the future

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

No one would prevent AlphaTauri from challenging Red Bull if the team was to close the gap in the future, technical director Jody Eggington says.

This year sees an evolution of the Faenza-based outfit with the rebranding after 14 years as Toro Rosso and, according to Helmut Marko, an upgrade from junior to sister team of Red Bull.

It also on the heels of Toro Rosso's best-ever F1 season in 2019, which saw both Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly claim podiums, and Eggington is optimistic of continuing their progress up the midfield in 2020.

“Last year we had our best year ever as a team so we’re on a good trajectory, this year the car is a big evolution of that,” he said via MotorsportWeek.

“It’s a very competitive midfield, [so] from fourth down to ninth or 10th is going to be very close this year, we’re in the mix, stating the obvious from testing, to be able to finish the best of the rest, that’s our target.

Also Read:

“It’s going to be incredibly hard and I suspect the fourth-placed team will evolve and change through the season.

“The objective is to be competitive and take the next step on from last year and fight at the sharp end of the midfield, we’re hopeful we can do it but we’re going to have to develop the car strongly to maintain our position.”

Looking forward, however, new regulations will close the financial gap between AlphaTauri and Red Bull and provide the team with a potentially a chance to return to the days of 2008.

“The targets that I've been set, my remit, if you will, is to develop a car that allows AlphaTauri to be as competitive as possible, and that's it,” Eggington stated.

“We have a healthy budget. It's not the largest budget on the grid, but it's not the smallest budget.

“With the regulation changes and the budget cap going forward, that alignment [with Red Bull] will increase, but within that, we should be in a position where we can be very competitive in the midfield and be towards the sharp end of it.

“We've got closer to Red Bull, they're a fantastic team, they've done a fantastic job. Last year, we got a lot closer to them. If we get close to them, that's good. I don't think anyone would prevent it, there would be no one telling us 'that's not permitted'.

“But in the scheme of things at the moment, that would be incredibly difficult to do," the tech chief conceded. "With the regulation changes and the budget cap, I can see the situation where we would be getting closer to Red Bull.

“So at no point is that going to a topic to avoid. It's something we want to do. But at the moment the key point is to be as competitive as we can with the resources that we've got.”