Formula 1

AlphaTauri’s “Joker” Upgrade: A Game-Changer for AT04 in Abu Dhabi Showdown

Team CEO Peter Bayer Reveals Innovative Changes to Boost Performance and Preview 2024 Aspirations

AlphaTauri, the Italian outfit competing in the 2023 Formula 1 season, has made headlines with their daring move to introduce a significant upgrade to their AT04 car, fondly referred to as the “joker.” This strategic enhancement is aimed at narrowing the performance gap between AlphaTauri and their fierce rivals, Williams, as they prepare to battle it out in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Peter Bayer, the Team CEO, has offered insights into the modifications undertaken on the car’s floor, underlining that this innovation also serves as a valuable trial for their 2024 machine.

In the waning moments of the 2023 Formula 1 season, AlphaTauri has been taking bold strides towards improving their competitive edge. One of the key focal points of their development efforts has been the gradual and methodical upgrades to the car’s floor. Additionally, the team has incorporated a crucial component from the RB19, Red Bull Racing’s 2019 Formula 1 car – the rear suspension. This infusion of technology from the Red Bull stable is designed to enhance the AT04’s stability, a vital factor in the high-speed world of Formula 1 racing.

The drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda, have played pivotal roles in AlphaTauri’s resurgence. During the demanding Austin-Mexico-Brazil triple-header, they displayed remarkable prowess, contributing a staggering 16 out of 21 points to the team’s tally. This remarkable performance propelled AlphaTauri from the tenth position to a commendable eighth place in the fiercely contested Constructors’ Championship. It’s a testament to the team’s unwavering dedication and the effectiveness of their strategic upgrades.

With the “joker” upgrade and the dynamic duo of Ricciardo and Tsunoda at the helm, AlphaTauri is poised for an exciting showdown in Abu Dhabi. As they continue to fine-tune their Formula 1 machine, eyes from around the world will be fixed on their progress, eager to witness if this calculated gamble will indeed help them close in on their rivals and secure a stronger position in the Formula 1 hierarchy.

Buoyed by their confidence in these enhancements, the team is eager to seize the opportunity to surpass Williams and secure the coveted seventh position in Abu Dhabi. The once-substantial gap has now dwindled to a mere seven points. With a pivotal upgrade set to debut over the weekend, Bayer emphasizes that their primary objective remains a valuable trial run for the 2024 car. In a candid conversation with, he shared his insights:

“Everyone’s motivated to chase down Williams to the line and we have a big upgrade coming for Abu Dhabi, which we hope will give us the missing tenths to fight for some top positions.

“The original strategic goal was 2024, but because we’ve put ourselves into this situation now, it comes in handy, so to say that we have another little joker in the back pocket.

“First of all it needs to work, but the data we’ve seen from CFD and the wind tunnel is very promising and will help us to find more.

“Again, it’s all about balance, aerodynamic efficiency and rear downforce.”

AlphaTauri’s Technical Director, Jody Egginton, elaborated further, describing the Abu Dhabi upgrade as primarily “an R&D exercise.” He emphasized:

“It’s a floor and it’s about learning for next year. It’s more an R&D exercise than anything else.

“It was something that was on the plan for a long time, far before we had any view that we might well be fighting for a position in the last race of the year, so it’s totally independent of that. It’s an R&D exercise.

“With the stable regulations, it’s easy to carry things forward and the floor update in Abu Dhabi is part of that.

“It gives you the opportunity to push a bit longer and learn more knowing that next year the regulations are stable.”

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