Motor racing-AlphaTauri launch 2022 F1 challenger

(Reuters) - Red Bull-owned AlphaTauri became the fifth team to unveil an example of their 2022 Formula One challenger, taking the wraps off the AT03 in an online launch.

The car, which will be raced by an unchanged driver line-up of Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda and features a similar livery to last year, has been designed to Formula One's radical new rules which are aimed at improving wheel-to-wheel racing.

It also sports the larger, new for 2022, 18-inch wheels.

"It’s a fresh start for all the teams, starting pretty much from zero as we are really looking at a clean sheet of paper scenario," said Frenchman Gasly, who enjoyed a strong season last year and scored points in 15 of the 22 races in a Q&A issued by the team.

"It will be a big challenge for the teams to work out how to build the best car possible to comply with the new regulations.

"I hope that it works really well for us.

"I have no doubts about our team’s abilities and, as of now, they are quite pleased with the work they have done."

AlphaTauri's 2022 car will no longer feature Honda's 'H' branding, with the Japanese manufacturer having officially pulled out of the sport. Instead, like with sister team Red Bull, it will carry smaller HRC (Honda Racing Company) stickers as the firm will continue to make engines for both outfits this season and provide trackside support.

Tsunoda, whose career has been backed by Honda, said he aimed to have a more consistent year.

The 21-year-old showed flashes of speed but made too many mistakes in his rookie campaign in 2021 before ending it on a high with a fourth-place finish at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

"I want to improve my pace and the consistency in the way I drive," said Tsunoda.

"If I can work the way I did at the last three or four races of last year, that will be a good way to start."

Haas, Red Bull, Aston Martin and McLaren have all already launched their cars. 

Williams are set to take the wraps off their challenger on Tuesday with Ferrari launching their car on Thursday.

Constructors' champions Mercedes will unveil their 2022 car on Friday.     

The 2022 season is set to get underway on March 20 in Bahrain.

(Reporting by Abhishek Takle; editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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