AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost has revealed the signs of progress at the team that have given him confidence of a better season in 2023.
It was a difficult year for the Red Bull sister outfit in 2022, with the team ending the campaign down in P9 in the Constructors' Championship.
However, in an exclusive interview with RacingNews365.com, Tost explained the steps forward that have been made with the car over the winter.
"[The car being] overweight [was a] problem we had last year. It is not anymore," Tost said.
"We are below the weight limit. We also made good progress on the mechanical side.
"From the radiators, everything is positioned much better [in the car than last year].
"We saved a lot of space, which is good for the aerodynamic side."
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While there are further areas where Tost feels that the team have developed, he also acknowledges that it is difficult to measure the level of progress until racing gets underway in Bahrain.
"We made also some progress on the aerodynamic side, but [it is] difficult to say how much," he continued.
"We for sure made some progress. We see it on the data, but how much progress did the others make?
"We will see how competitive we are, at least the first time and [in] the qualifying on Saturday."
When asked if he felt more comfortable with AlphaTauri's position than he did one year earlier, Tost sounded caution over where the squad are.
"[I have] mixed feelings," the Austrian added.
"We are in the midfield, but we still have some potential to become better."
AlphaTauri will field a new driver line-up as the F1 season gets underway, with Nyck de Vries joining Yuki Tsunoda following Pierre Gasly's switch to Alpine.
Ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, RacingNews365.com journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth analyse where each of the F1 teams stands after pre-season testing.