Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck De Vries failed to score any points in the opening Bahrain race despite Tsunoda qualifying in 14th and De Vries in 18th. However, Tsunoda showed the potential to improve during FP1 in Jeddah where he placed 10th, three places ahead of his teammate. Even so, AlphaTauri’s team principal, Franz Tost, was dissatisfied with his team’s car’s performance. He claimed that the technical team promised a significant improvement with the new vehicle, which hasn’t been realised so far. He also stated that “Not enough downforce” was the primary issue, causing the car to be unstable under braking, overheating the rear tires, washing out at the apex, and having poor traction.
Tost said that cost cap restrictions would not hinder the team from developing or changing the vehicle’s concept. He explained that the engineer’s data didn’t meet his expectations during the off-season. He remarked, “During the winter months, they told me the car is fantastic, we’ve made a big progress. Then we come to Bahrain, and we are nowhere. What should I say?” The team is focused on developing the car’s floor, brake ducts, and all other aerodynamic parts to improve performance. Tost said: “I think now with all the knowledge we have after Bahrain test and after the Bahrain race, the engineers should be in a position to sort it out and come up with new parts, which should improve the performance of the car. We are coming up with updates to the next races, and we will bring something to Melbourne and afterwards to Baku. It’s within our programme that we bring nearly every race a small upgrade.”