Aston Martin fear the aerodynamic issues they have suffered with this season’s car will also impact on their 2022 challenger.
That is despite the new regulations being introduced that mean next year’s Formula 1 cars are to be radically different.
Even though this year’s technical rules were only tweaked compared to 2020, Aston Martin have found themselves struggling to get close to the same level of competitiveness – which culminated with Sergio Perez winning the Sakhir Grand Prix when they were named Racing Point.
They finished fourth in the Constructors’ Championship – it would have been third but for a 15-point penalty – but this time around, now branded as Aston Martin, the Silverstone-based team are isolated in seventh position with seven races remaining.
The problem has been that the aerodynamic rule tweaks hit teams with low-rake cars the hardest, Aston Martin joining Mercedes in paying the heaviest price.
It meant work had to be done to try and make this year’s car, the AMR21, faster – and that consequently affected the time that could be spent on creating the 2022 challenger.
“It was more difficult because of the backward step we took because of the FIA’s aero changes,” said Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer, quoted by The Race.
“Therefore, we spent longer on trying to develop this year’s car to get it to a decent place than we otherwise would have.
“So not only did it have an impact on this year’s car, but it will also have an impact on next year’s.”
Nevertheless, even though they have had to focus more on 2021 development than originally intended, Szafnauer still thinks his team are on an “even playing field” with their rivals.
“Everyone’s got the same rule, see how well you can develop,” he added. “And the rules are significantly different than what we have today, a huge departure, which means all the balls are up in the air. But at least everyone has the same chance.”
Almost three months after the previous update, Szafnauer said Aston Martin were having no joy in speeding up the arrival of incoming technical director Dan Fallows, over whom Red Bull are playing hardball in ensuring he sees out his contract with them.
Fallows is tied to Red Bull until mid-2023 and Szafnauer said: “There’s a final date when he’s out of this contract. But we hope to bring that forward. That we don’t know yet.”
Concern already for Aston Martin's 2022 season
Aston Martin already concerned about their 2022 season because of aerodynamic issues.