In 2021 teams are expected to keep around 60% of last year’s car. Each formation will only have two development tokens to spend on updating part of its 2020 design after the development freeze and the postponement of the new technical regulation to try to reduce costs due to the outbreak of the COVID-19.
Most teams face the challenge of trying to regain downforce on their 2021 cars after adjustments made to the regulations – particularly in the bottom design – to reduce speed.
McLaren has been forced to spend its two tokens on the integration of the new power unit Mercedes after the change of supplier last year, which has led to indicate that it could lose ground in the tight fight of the midfield.
However, the technical director of AlphaTauri, Jody Egginton, points out that keeping the aerodynamic development out of the limitations during the season means that the token system does not influence the hierarchical order.
“In the end, the aerodynamics have not yet been very much controlled by tokens,” Egginton explained to Motorsport.com.
“You can choose to make a new nose, but a nose is not going to change your aerodynamic concept when almost all other aspects, except the rear of the bottom of the regulation, are the same.”
“You can play around with the chassis a bit. Everyone, apart from McLaren, keeps the same power unit, so their tokens will be to integrate it. They have to get the power unit to fit. I’m sure they will have pros and cons as well. I don’t know what affects him in detail. “
“I don’t think tokens make a difference in the aerodynamic concept, and aerodynamics will remain king. Everyone will use their tokens on something, but I don’t think they are the key to deciding the order.”
AlphaTauri finished seventh in last year’s constructors’ championship despite scoring more points than ever and claiming his first win since 2008 at Monza.
The team regularly battled McLaren, Racing Point, Renault and Ferrari in a close fight in the Formula 1 midfield that Egginton predicts will continue in 2021.
“I expect a very close midfield again, but I don’t know the order,” he said. “To be honest, last winter I was not prepared to say it either. We know our goals, we think that if we reach them we will be in the group. The goal is to be in the top five. If we can take the same step we took last year, I think that is what we have to do. “
“But with the rule changes in the background to limit downforce, obviously we have to work a bit more. It’s not more of the same, it’s more of the same and a few changes that need to be recovered.”
“Unless someone makes a mistake, it should be tight. Hopefully we are not the ones who make the mistake.”