AlphaTauri Tries To Right Some Wrongs With The AT04

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Last season, one of my favorite-looking cars on the grid was AlphaTauri’s AT03. The navy and white livery on a car featuring squared sidepods and a unique front wing made it look — at least to me — like an ultra-modern Jorda 191.

However, looks don’t always translate to on-track success, and the AT03 was kind of a dud. It was kind of a big dud. AlphaTauri finished P6 in 2021, and team principal Franz Tost’s goal of a P5 finish seemed very within reach.

While the talk of the 2022 season was the struggles and underperformance of Mercedes and Ferrari, AlphaTauri may have been the biggest disappointment on the grid. They finished 2022 in P9 with drivers Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda finishing P14 and P17 respectively. They effectively squandered Gasly’s final season in the Red Bull program with a clunker of a car.

Now, AlphaTauri is back with former Formula E World Champion Nyck De Vries and a significantly different-looking car, the AT04.

AlphaTauri AT04
AlphaTauri launched its new car at New York Fashion Week, so you know the crowd was full of F1 fans. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for AlphaTauri)

The AT04 Looks To Feature Some Significant Changes

Just like their sister team, Red Bull Racing, AlphaTauri unveiled their 2023 challenger in New York City, what some would call the biggest hive of scum and villainy this side of Mos Eisley. It was a glitzy affair befitting of a team named after a clothing brand that charges hundreds of dollars for a plain hooded sweatshirt. It was even tied into New York Fashion Week, and it gave us our first glimpse at AlphaTauri’s newest creation.

Here’s a better look at what they’re going to be bringing to circuits this season.

Aside from the new livery that includes some pops of red thanks to new sponsor Orlen who moved over to the team after previously sponsoring Alfa Romeo, there are some significant changes.

Starting at the front, it looks like the team isn’t trying anything too crazy with the front wing. They altered their approach with front wing mid-season in 2022, and the 2023 version looks at home with other cars on the grid. The sidepods also look to have gotten a significant update more in line with those used by, Red Bull.

De Vries and Tsunoda will be tasked with wheeling this puppy back to the midfield. I think they can do that if the team has given them a reasonably competitive car.

I think AlphaTauri has too much ground to make up on the teams ahead of them. While extra aerodynamics testing time will help that, I think they’re looking at a ceiling of P7 this year.

Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle

Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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