Technical director Andrew Green says integrating the 2020 Mercedes rear has been one of the things Aston Martin have spent the most time on.
In response to the pandemic, the planned regulation changes were put on hold for 2021 and teams were instead given two development tokens they could use to make changes to their 2020 cars for the following campaign.
However, a decision made by the FIA meant that the team formerly known as Racing Point could upgrade the 2019 Mercedes parts they were using to the 2020 ones without having to spend such tokens.
That effectively means that Green and co could upgrade their rear suspension for free, and he says fitting that has been a key area of focus along with adapting to the aerodynamic regulation changes introduced.
“I don’t want to go into specifics, but the main drive in performance is aerodynamics, so there’s obviously a big push on the aerodynamic side,” he told The Race.
“The regulation change that came through late last year had a big effect on the aero performance and we spent the winter trying to try to recover the losses from the changes in the regulations. That’s been a big focus.
“We’ve changed the rear of the car now to the 2020 suspension as supplied by Mercedes, That was always the plan.
“So, those are the two main areas that we’ve been focused on over the winter.”
Get to know our 2021 challenger. 💚
From what puts it at the cutting edge of technology, to how the natural world plays its part. This is the #AMR21.
— Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) March 4, 2021
Aston Martin made the decision early on before the aerodynamic regulations were announced to use the 2020 Mercedes rear-end when preparing for the 2021 challenger, the AMR21.
Green says that one concern he had was that the design wouldn’t work well with the changes introduced, but it ultimately didn’t prove to be a problem.
“We had already committed to the 2020 suspension and gearbox before the regulations changed, so there was a concern that potentially it was going in the wrong direction,” he added.
“But it soon became apparent that as a minimum it complemented them, and so it really turned out to be a non-issue.
“What was harder was the late change to the aerodynamic regulations. That was the one that required us to react faster.
“That was the biggest aspect of what we were looking at over the winter, the changes that the FIA have made rather than the planned changes that we already had in place.”