All the cars had pretty much reached peak development in this the last year before a major change to the technical regulations for 2022. Therefore the expectation was that the midfield battle would be even closer than ever and sure enough it was. But our team turned up with what can be described as the best ever Made in Faenza car. The AT02 proved to be very competitive and consistent, hustled along by a powerful and reliable Honda power unit, the same as the one Max Verstappen used on his way to winning the Drivers’ championship with Red Bull Racing.
Our driver line-up featured our proven, consistent and quick Pierre Gasly and the rising Japanese star Yuki Tsunoda, born in 2000, making him the youngest driver on the grid. They both performed brilliantly. Pierre reacquainted himself with the taste of champagne after his win in Monza in 2020, with a third place in Azerbaijan. Yuki’s season got off to a strong start, scoring points on his debut, before securing his best ever finish with a fourth place at the grand finale in Abu Dhabi last Sunday.
In our world, data is the key to success so we’re proud to share with you some of the most interesting statistics to celebrate another record year!
142 points: the most ever!
In 2008, points were only given out to the top eight finishers, but since 2010 that has been extended to cover the top ten. If we calculate the 2008 points based on the current system, we would have picked up 107, just as we actually did in 2020. This year we scored no fewer than 142, making it our biggest total since 2006.
Sixth in the Constructors’ Championship
We finished sixth in the Constructors’ Championship, equalling our previous best in the hybrid era in 2019, as well as in that exceptional 2008 season, when we took pole and the win in the Italian GP courtesy of Sebastian Vettel.
22 points finishes
Still taking 2008 as the benchmark, at that time we had at least one car finish in the top ten on 13 occasions out of a possible total of 36, as it was an 18 race calendar. That meant our percentage of top ten finishes was 36.11%. In 2019, when we also finished sixth we had 20 top ten finishes out of a possible 42, the percentage going up to 47.61%. This year, we set the bar even higher, finishing in the points 22 times out of 44, which is a nice round 50%.
19 top ten finishes
In 2021 we scored points in 19 of the 22 races, or 86% of them, better than in 2019 (71%) and 2008 (61%.)
Yuki, first Japanese driver to score points on debut
By finishing in the top ten in the opening round in Bahrain, Yuki Tsunoda became the first Japanese driver to score points on his F1 debut. He thus joins an exclusive club of just 64 drivers, which includes others who started their Formula 1 career in our team: Sébastien Bourdais (2008), Daniil Kvyat (2014) and Carlos Sainz (2015).
First front row start for AlphaTauri era
For the first time since we became AlphaTauri, one of our cars started from the front row of the grid. It happened in Qatar and it was also a first for Pierre Gasly.
First fastest lap for AlphaTauri
We recorded our first ever fastest race lap as AlphaTauri this year courtesy of Pierre Gasly in the Hungarian GP. It is the second one since we came into the sport, the first set by Daniil Kvyat in the 2016 Spanish GP.
Our Honda stats
In these first two years racing as AlphaTauri, we raced with our engine partner Honda in 39 Grands Prix, scoring a total of 249 points, including one win, two podium finishes and one fastest race lap.
But this is not the time to rest on our laurels: in our Faenza factory and in the wind tunnel in Bicester (UK) everyone is working flat out preparing for 2022. With completely new technical regulations, next season is going to be even longer and busier than the one just ended. It’s another big challenge and we can’t wait to get on with it!