MARCH 30, 2021

AlphaTauri is most improved team

With two Grand Prix in the same circuit in the space of four months, Formula One teams got a unique opportunity to compare their 2021 cars with last year’s chassis and evaluate how much the aerodynamic cuts imposed by the regulations affected their performance from one year to the next.

Yuki Tsunoda, Bahrain GP 2021
© Red Bull

It’s clear that teams with high rake philosophy in the design of their cars lost a lot less performance than Mercedes and Aston Martin, who design their cars with very little rake, but the most remarkable development was certainly achieved by AlphaTauri and Ferrari, who lost less than half the lap time of their closest rivals and, in the Honda-powered AT02, gained almost 1,8s per lap, around the Bahrain International Circuit, on Mercedes!

Bellow, we compare the best qualifying times achieved by all ten teams (two of them under different names in 2020) last November and this March, noting that it’s not necessarily their Q3 time that ended up being their best of the weekend.

Bahrain qualifying times
Team 2020 2021 Lap time lost
 AlphaTauri  1m28.448s  1m29.089s  0.361s
 Ferrari  1m29.137s  1m29.678s  0.541s
 Alfa Romeo  1m29.491s  1m30.708s  1.217s
 Red Bull  1m27.678s  1m28.997s  1.319s
 McLaren  1m28.542s  1m29.927s  1.385s
 Alpine  1m28.417s  1m30.249s  1.832s
 Williams  1m29.294s  1m31.316s  2.022s
 Mercedes  1m27.264s  1m29.395s  2.121s
 Aston Martin  1m28.322s  1m30.601s  2.279s
 Haas  1m30.111s  1m32.449s  2.338s