Why did AlphaTauri’s new floor anger other teams?

AlphaTauri's imminent rebrand will see them work closer with Red Bull and take several key parts from them for 2024.

After spending the majority of 2023 at the foot of the Constructors’ Championship, it’s remarkable to think that AlphaTauri were just one-point short of beating Williams to seventh place.

An aggressive introduction of upgrades since the Singapore Grand Prix revitalised Red Bull’s sister team, to the extent that they became consistent top-10 finishers in the closing rounds of the season.

It wasn’t even by chance that AlphaTauri found themselves scoring good points in the final handful of rounds, they were there purely on pace.

Yuki Tsunoda did brilliantly to finish eighth last weekend at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, ahead of the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

Whilst most teams halt development of their current car in the latter stages of a campaign, AlphaTauri adopted a drastically different strategy.

They introduced a brand-new floor at the Yas Marina Circuit, which caught the attention of their rivals’.

It’s no secret that part of the team’s upcoming complete rebrand will see them work closer once again with Red Bull, having spent a couple unsuccessful seasons following their own development path.

AlphaTauri’s downfall in 2022 and the start of 2023 can be traced back to when they started to develop their own parts, rather than take what they legally can from Red Bull.

Article continues below

From 2024, the two teams will be working closer once again or at least as close as they can according to the rule book.

As a result, some wondered in the paddock whether AlphaTauri’s new floor in Abu Dhabi was an indicator of the direction they’re heading in for next year or if it was even the development path Red Bull were taking.

Based on the documentation AlphaTauri released regarding their new floor in Abu Dhabi, it’s clear that compared to the floor they used back in Bahrain, the new one was heavily revised.

READ: Max Verstappen gets booed

“The mid floor and ‘canoe’ surfaces local to the plank have also been extensively modified to enable greater local load generation from that part of the floor”.

Of course, unless the car is lifted into the air or flipped over, it’s impossible to know the true extent of how much AlphaTauri have changed; however, their staggering recent pace is proof that something is clearly brewing between Red Bull and their sister team.

Red Bull and AlphaTauri working closely is a concern for some, who are worried that both teams are gaining an unfair advantage by following similar development paths.