The AT02 is the second Formula One car produced by Italian car manufacturers Scuderia AlphaTauri. It is a direct continuation from its predecessor, the AT01, and does in fact use the exact same chassis. However, the new model is massively enhanced in other technical areas, including having a now far more aerodynamic body, more responsive suspension, a more integrated power unit, and snappier electronic systems and gearbox.
Scuderia spent a great deal of time refining the bodywork of the AT02. It produces aerodynamic grip, whilst the tyres simultaneously produce mechanical grip, subsequently transferring massive power from the engine to the surface of the track. What this means is that, the faster you go, the harder the AT02 sticks to the track, and so it has the capabilities of rounding corners at immense speeds.
Power is obviously an essential factor in the speed of a Formula One car, and the AT02 is as powerful as ever. Together with Honda, Scuderia AlphaTauri have been able to manufacture a power unit that’s consists of a 1600cc V6 turbocharged combustion engine, which works in tandem with a pair of electrical energy recovery systems. These generate even further additional horsepower, which is then stored in a battery. Next, the MGU-K recovers kinetic energy from braking and the MGU-H converts energy from the exhaust gases emitted by the turbo.
An MGU-K is a ‘Motor Generator Unit – Kinetic,’ and is a component of a hybrid electric power. It performs two basic functions, the first of which being that whilst accelerating, it assists in powering the engine, and when braking, it uses that same energy which would otherwise have been dissipated as heat to recharge the batteries. Conclusively, it’s a very efficient system to converse energy and power the car faster and further.
An MGU-H is a ‘Motor Generator Unit – Heat.’ This unit further increases efficiency and energy distribution across the car via a direct link with the turbine, which subsequently generates electrical power.
Unfortunately, at the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix, French driver Pierre Gasly clipped the back of Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren on the fourth lap, and was subjected to a DNF. However, Gasly’s ability to qualify fifth on the Q3 lap, having lapped just 0.13 seconds slower than midfield leader Charles Leclerc and his Ferrari demonstrates the ingenuity and brilliance of the AT02, and how it has the potential to be the ‘best of the rest’ Formula One Car, going into 2022.