AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost has set his side the ambitious target of being “consistently at the top” of Formula 1’s midfield pack during the 2021 season.

The Faenza-based outfit took the covers off its upgraded AT02 challenger - which sports a smart revision of its navy blue and white livery design - on Friday morning ahead of the upcoming campaign.

After it secured seventh-place in the 2020 constructors’ championship with Pierre Gasly picking up a shock maiden victory at the Italian Grand Prix and helping the team to its biggest-ever points haul of 107, AlphaTauri is looking for an even stronger season as it eyes taking the challenge to midfield rivals McLaren, Aston Martin and Alpine.

“In 2020 Scuderia AlphaTauri was a midfield team, we were fighting successfully against the other teams like McLaren, Renault and Racing Point but our target for this year is to consistently be at the top of this midfield pack and to improve further,” said Tost.

“To achieve this, we have to avoid reliability issues and finish all races in the points. This can only happen if we do not make any mistakes, so we have to be 100% concentrated on our job, race after race, on and off the track, because our competitors are hard to fight.

“We will do our best to provide a good show for all the F1 fans, who I hope to see back at the track filling the grandstands soon.”

The team will be boosted with an upgraded Honda power unit for the new season before the Japanese engine manufacturer bows out of the sport at the end of the year. 

AlphaTauri has also signed rookie Yuki Tsunoda to replace Daniil Kvyat as Gasly’s new teammate for 2021 after the 20-year-old Japanese driver enjoyed an outstanding debut season in Formula 2, finishing in third place. And Tost believes the team now has the perfect blend of experience and speed to deliver on its goals.

“For this season we are running an interesting driver pairing - we have an experienced driver and a rookie,” he explained. “I reckon Pierre is one of the strongest drivers in F1 nowadays. Pierre’s good technical understanding allows him to get the best out of the car.

"Pierre has been with the team for some time now, so he is familiar with all procedures and with our way of working, he will be a good leader, helping Yuki in his development. He knows how to win a race - as he proved last year in Monza - and if we provide him with a competitive car, I expect him to be very successful this season.

“Then, we have Yuki, who finished third in the F2 Championship and watching his races last year in F2 I must say he did a fantastic job, winning races and carrying out many impressive overtaking manoeuvres.

“Yuki has already completed some tests with us in an F1 car and I’m convinced that he will have a successful start in his F1 career, due to his natural speed and his talent.”