AlphaTauri admit that their reliability issues at the beginning of the 2022 season will likely impact them later in the year due to the need to take engine penalties.
It has not been the smoothest of starts to the campaign for the team, with Pierre Gasly recording a DNF at the opening race in Bahrain when his car caught fire following a loss of power.
One week later at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Yuki Tsunoda was unable to take the start due to mechanical issues.
The Red Bull sister outfit have still managed to get at least one of their drivers in the points at every race so far, but team boss Franz Tost says that the reliability problems they have experienced have come as something of a surprise, given their smooth running in testing.
AlphaTauri surprised by reliability concerns
"We had fantastic [pre-season] tests, [in] Barcelona as well as in Bahrain," Tost told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"We did, I think in Barcelona, 1500 kilometres, [and] in Bahrain 2000 kilometres without any problem. At the end we had 3500 kilometres.
"We were safe on the reliability side, and then we came to Bahrain, and the car of Pierre Gasly, we saw after a couple of laps that fire came out from the back because the battery exploded or caught fire.
"This was of course then [a DNF], which was a total surprise for us because we never had any problems [at] the beginning of this year with the battery."
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Tost hopes for improvement in performance
AlphaTauri's troubles continued with Tsunoda's car problems in Jeddah, and this is where concerns about future engine penalties started to come into mind.
"We came to Saudi Arabia, and we killed two engines on Yuki's car," Tost added.
"This was also a big surprise because, if you know that you have only three engines [for the season], it's not only that Yuki had to start from the back in Saudi Arabia, but he will also have a couple of penalties waiting for him for the rest of the season."
Despite these early issues, Tost is hopeful that the team can continue to make improvements as the campaign progresses.
"That means from the reliability side, we are by far not [where] I expected, but also the performance we have to improve," he said.
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