Only a ‘small group’ still working on AMR22 as Aston Martin look to 2023

Jon Wilde
Aston Martin mechanics work on Sebastian Vettel's car. Hungaroring July 2022.

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack has revealed only a handful of people are still working on improving the AMR22.

Instead, most of the team’s focus has already switched to the 2023 car, which they will hope proves much more competitive from the get-go.

Ninth of 10 in the Constructors’ Championship, ambitious Aston Martin are a long way from where they would want to be considering they are targeting becoming World Championship contenders within the next few years.

The best way to get themselves back on track would be to produce a front-running car for next season, when it will be driven by Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll – and resources are being heavily invested into doing that, which suggests the current campaign is becoming largely a write-off.

“Although we must continue to improve the performance of the AMR22, and we have a small group of people still working on it, we have already turned our attention to the AMR23,” said Krack in an interview on the team’s website.

“Our focus has been on AMR23 for a while now because the car needs to perform right out of the box. A new season and new car represent the biggest opportunity to move ahead of our competitors.”

Mike Krack speaks with Sebastian Vettel in the garage. Bahrain March 2022

Where did Aston Martin go wrong this year?

It’s the nature of the beast that at the start of a new rules era, some teams will get it right and others wrong. Aston Martin were in the latter category.

Like Mercedes, to whom they have been closely affiliated in a technical sense in recent years, their car suffered from porpoising at the early races.

Eventually, Aston Martin decided on a substantial revamp of the AMR22 and what was described as a B-spec version was rolled out at the Spanish Grand Prix – looking like what some people referred to as a green Red Bull.

“People assume the upgrades haven’t worked because we haven’t climbed up the competitive order, but the upgrades have worked – just not enough for us to catch up,” explained Krack.

“It belies the amount of work that’s gone on at the factory and at the track to bring them to the car. People don’t necessarily realise the amount of effort that goes into the design and the production of these parts, and the sheer intensity of the work we are doing.”

Read more: Aston Martin feature among our five biggest disappointments in the first half of the 2022 season

Aston Martin driver Lance stroll in qualifying. Barcelona May 2022.

Was there anything in the Aston Martin-Red Bull copying controversy?

After an initial flurry, with suspicions raised by Christian Horner – complete with green can of Red Bull on the pit wall – and Helmut Marko, it all died down pretty swiftly and the FIA found nothing untoward.

Certainly much more quickly than the ‘pink Mercedes’ furore when Aston Martin were still operating under the Racing Point branding.

“We’ve been wrongly accused of copying this season,” said Krack. “The new rear wing we took to the Hungarian Grand Prix underlined our ability to innovate and steal a march on the opposition by coming up with ideas our rivals haven’t.

“A lot of people think it’s easy to just design a new wing, build it and put it on the car. But if you look at the wing, or any of the upgrades we bring to the car, the way they are engineered, optimised and produced, it’s an art form.

“Plus, you can’t just build one of them, you have to build three or four of the same specification to have enough for both cars and spares.

“We took a major upgrade package to the Spanish Grand Prix – new sidepods, floor, engine cover, modifications to the front suspension – but to deliver enough parts in time so both cars could run in the latest specification… I’ve never seen anything like that.

“It was an extraordinary effort from everyone in the team.”