Szafnauer: 2021 and 2022 development a ‘fine balance’

Finley Crebolder
Otmar Szafnauer, Aston Martin

Aston Martin boss Otmar Szafnauer has conceded the transition from Racing Point has not been easy, but with it comes big opportunities to become a "top team".

Otmar Szafnauer says that it will be a “fine balance” developing the 2021 cars while also preparing for the 2022 regulations.

In 2021, development work that teams can carry out will be limited as regulations were frozen in the wake of the global pandemic.

The planned regulation changes will instead be taking place in 2022 instead, and many teams have already started to prepare for them.

Szafnauer, the team principal of Aston Martin, formerly known as Racing Point, thinks that striking a balance will be tricky.

“It is more of a consideration of how and when you deploy your resources for the ’22 car versus the ’21 car,” he told GPFans.

“You want a really good season in ’21 but not at the expense of ’22. We can start working on the ’22 car in January now, split some of our resources – you have got to start right away.

“But the big question is, when do you put the lion’s share of your resources on next year’s car because that means whatever you have got this year, that is what you’ve got to live with.

“That’s a fine balance and we won’t be able to really make that decision until we are a few races into the season and we really understand where we stand in the pecking order.”

Get your hands on the official Racing Point 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store 

While the regulations being frozen means that most of the 2021 cars will not differ from their predecessors, there will still be some changes given the change in aerodynamic rules to accommodate the new tyre compounds.

Szafnauer says that development focus can’t turn to 2022 fully until the team knows the impact of such changes and how they’ve handled them.

“You have got to remember, the FIA have made huge aerodynamic changes in order to reduce the downforce levels to help the tyres next year, so again, that is going to be a relative gain,” he added.

“I don’t know how well we have done versus some of the others, only time will tell. Once we have that information, you can make a good decision on how long you stay developing ’21 versus when you in earnest, when you have most of the people on ’22.”

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