AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost has admitted that the squad will have to be particularly wary of budget cap constraints in 2022, as they can't rely on buying in older parts from Red Bull Technologies as they usually do.
With the teams entering the second year of the new financial rules, which sees the budget cap shrink to $140 million dollars, the belt-tightening coincides with the introduction of the new technical regulations, meaning there's precious little carryover of older parts.
As a result, for the new season, AlphaTauri can't simply purchase older parts that were designed for use by the main Red Bull team prior to '22.
"It's a financial balance," Tost told RacingNews365.com when asked about how his team are coping with the new, extra hurdle.
"Because, for example, [last] year , we were using a gearbox which Red Bull used two years ago, and the rear suspension.
"[So 2022] will become for us, I think, the toughest year regarding the cost cap.
"Up to now, we are far below the cost cap. That's not a problem. But [this] year, with $140 million and buying new parts from Red Bull Technologies, [that] brings us to the limit."
As a result, Tost explained that very careful monitoring of their budget will be needed right from the start of the season.
"Therefore, we must calculate very well from the very beginning onwards, because this situation could bring us in some difficulties," he said.
"[This] year will be the heavy one because of the new parts. 2023 is another situation we must look at, and then we will see."
Horner explains the challenges for AlphaTauri
Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner explained that the biggest technical challenge for AlphaTauri this season is adjusting their car to use the latest specification gearbox, as designed and manufactured by Red Bull Technologies.
"The biggest change for them is obviously taking a coterminous gearbox because, usually, they are a season behind, which has helped enormously from a logistical perspective," Horner explained to RacingNews365.com.
"This year, we'll be providing gearboxes for both teams of identical specification. That puts pressure on them because our design release dates are usually a bit later than their own.
"It dictates wheelbase and all of those aspects. But I believe that they're coping with it well. It's been well communicated, well planned and structured. So I think we're looking OK."
Beyond '22, as the regulations mature and allow the likes of AlphaTauri to start using older designs again, Horner said he expects normal service to resume.
He added: "I think it'll be the standard amount of stuff, to be honest. There's no decision to take any more, any less. Basically, they'll be taking the rear end of the car."
Might AlphaTauri have to scrap some updates?
Asked about whether the team have any intent to add to their workforce, or have any scope to do so, Tost said: "No, no, no, we cannot grow. We cannot grow any more – we are so far on the limit.
"2022 will be a difficult year for us and, therefore, we must take into consideration to save money wherever possible to stay within the cost cap, because of the reason that the car itself will become very expensive."
Tost went on to outline that it's entirely possible, due to the need to cut their spending to match the budget cap in light of their increased parts costs for 2022, the team may not be able to introduce some updates over the course of the season.
"To respect the cost cap, maybe some upgrades will not come," he admitted.
"I don't know yet. I hope it will not be the case. But it's not an easy exercise."
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