Otmar Szafnauer speaks on what derailed the 2021 F1 season of Aston Martin and with 2022 on the horizon, they had to decide on timely action.
The new rival of the 2021 season Aston Martin’s performance was not the one that the Anglo-British team expected in terms of aerodynamics likewise the Mercedes AMG F1 team, who managed to win the constructors’ championship.
The Silverstone-based team failed to keep last year’s performance as they slipped down to seventh from fourth in 2020. However, Aston Martin team principal Szafnauer knew that the team will not improve to the best, unlike Mercedes who had to find solutions to their downforce loss until the end of the season.
Szafnauer explained how does the just-ended season finished as he compared to his expectations from the beginning. “What’s happened this year has confirmed our pre-season worries: the unilateral aerodynamic changes that were made late in the season had a massive effect on us and Mercedes,” said Szafnauer.
“Because the midfield was so tight, the lap time that we lost, seven, eight, nine-tenths of a second per lap, depending on what track we were at, moved us from the third-fastest car to about the sixth, seventh-fastest car. Mercedes too lost because of the aerodynamic philosophy they run.
“That just moved them from always being on pole to now fighting for the championship. For our team, it had a much, much bigger impact. Because of it, and because of the 2022 regulations being completely different, we had to switch early on to focus all of our attention on 2022 and leave 2021 as that time,” summed up Szafnauer who expanded on what they lost out on.
“Aston Martin lost a lot of downforce at the rear, which then creates instability of the car going into the corner,” said Szafnauer. “It just has a knock-on effect. And we also, in trying to get some of that downforce back, we also ended up with a car that was a bit draggier than we used to have in the past.
“At some circuits, a bit of extra drag doesn’t manifest itself into a big lap time deficit, but at other circuits it does. So that’s why we’ve been a little bit up and down this season,” summed up Szafnauer. The newly-rebranded former Racing Point and Force India team has been focused more on the future as they were building their own wind tunnel and a new factory at Silverstone.
These investments from Aston Martin are made to focus on the next season after the new regulations have been set implemented. Another way to start fresh and how to improve from the scratch alongside all teams.
The story was written by Oprah Sagal
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