Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda return as the team follows closer ties with Red Bull, with significant intensification and cooperation with the second team.
CEO Peter Bayer and new Team Principal Laurent Mekies have elected to take as many transferable components as possible, the parts that are allowed to be designed by one team and brought by another.
The advantage is that VCARB will effectively get 'free performance' with the class-leading Red Bull parts, such as suspension and gearboxes.
AlphaTauri finished eighth in last season's Constructors' Championship after substantial updates inspired by the RB19 for the final rounds, starting with a package at the United States Grand Prix.
The step up was huge and if VCARB can take advantage of the Red Bull components and philosophy, a climb up the standings will not go unnoticed by rival teams.
Fierce statements already made
McLaren in particular is questioning the partnership between VCARB and Red Bull, with CEO Zak Brown explaining: "For teams to work together, in my opinion, goes against the definition of a constructor.
"Moreover, it not only helps the B-team but also the A-team. It's not about the benefit to one team. They both benefit and in my opinion, there is no other major sport that allows that."
This is a strong statement and therefore Red Bull may also be in trouble if VCARB records good results. Teams will be quick to question the integrity, especially if the performances are very similar in Bahrain.
But is it desirable for a sister team to buy parts from the dominant ain force and thus rise in the pecking order?
It is exactly what Haas does with Ferrari and what Aston Martin did as Racing Point and Force India with Mercedes, but the difference is that Red Bull owns VCARB, so the influence is greater than with the other teams and that is exactly where the pain point is - with concerns also covering the wind-tunnel testing and learnings from VCARB being used to aid Red Bull beyond its allocation.
There have been complaints in the recent past surrounding similar cars: Racing Point came up with the so-called "Pink Mercedes" in 2020, with Renault lodging a protest about the rear brake ducts that copped Racing Point a 15-point deduction and fine.
Brown's allegations were also mostly about the rules and not what Red Bull and VCARB are specifically up to but this is the Piranha Club and the situation is likely to ebb and flow depending on just how competitive VCARB actually is.