Aero development still "king" for 2021 despite F1 token system

AlphaTauri technical chief Jody Egginton believes aerodynamic development will remain "king" in settling the close midfield fight in Formula 1 this year despite the new token system.

Aero development still "king" for 2021 despite F1 token system

With the new technical regulations postponed until next year, a freeze has been placed on widespread car development between 2020 and 2021 to try and cut costs in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19.

Each team has two development tokens to spend on updating part of its 2020 car design, with most expecting to carry over around 60% of last year's chassis.

The challenge most teams will face is trying to recover downforce for their 2021 cars after tweaks were made to the regulations to cut speeds, with the biggest changes coming on the floor design.

McLaren has been forced to spend its two tokens on integrating its new Mercedes power units following a change in supplier from last year, leading to suggestions it could be left on the back foot in the close midfield fight.

But AlphaTauri technical director Egginton said the fact in-season aerodynamic development remained outside of the limitations meant that the token system would not end up defining pecking order.

"At the end of the day, aerodynamics are still not heavily controlled by tokens," Egginton told Motorsport.com.

"You could elect to do a new nose, but a nose is not going to make or break your aerodynamic concept when nearly every other aspect apart from the rearward part of the floor of the regulations is the same.

"You could fiddle with the chassis a bit. I guess everyone other than McLaren is keeping the same PU, so their tokens go into integrating all of that. They've got to get that power unit to fit. I'm sure there's compromise and reward in there for them, so what that will do for them in detail, I don't know.

"No, I don't think the tokens are a differentiator on aerodynamic concept, and it's aero that's still king. Everyone will use their tokens for something, but I don't think that's the key differentiator to decide the order."

Read Also:

AlphaTauri finished seventh in last year's constructors' championship despite scoring more points than ever before and picking up its first race win since 2008 at Monza.

The team regularly fought with McLaren, Racing Point, Renault and Ferrari in a congested midfield fight that Egginton anticipated would continue through 2021.

"I expect a very close midfield again, but I don't know the order," he said.

"I wasn't even prepared to tell anyone the order last winter, to be honest! We know our targets, we think if we achieve them, we'll be in the mix. The target is to get in the top five. If we can make the same step we made this year to last year, I think that's what we've got to do.

"But obviously with the regulation changes on the rearward floor to limit downforce, we've got a bit more work to do. It's not just more of the same, it's more of the same and a few changes to recover from.

"Unless someone makes a mistake, it should be tight. Hopefully it's not us making the mistake!"

shares
comments

Related video

Brown: New era of F1 rules plays to McLaren’s "sweet spot"

Previous article

Brown: New era of F1 rules plays to McLaren’s "sweet spot"

Next article

The evidence that shows Williams' F1 recovery is real

The evidence that shows Williams' F1 recovery is real
Load comments
How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021