Third is ‘a step too far’ for Aston Martin

Date published: May 23 2021

Sebastian Vettel Monaco

With just five points from four races, Otmar Szafnauer admits achieving third place in this year’s standings is “a step too far” for Aston Martin.

Last season the team, racing as Racing Point, claimed fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship, a result that could have been one better had the team not been docked 15 points for running illegal brake ducts.

The team, rebranded Aston Martin for 2021, had hoped to put that right this season.

So far, though, there are little to no signs that P3, or even P4, could be within the team’s grasp.

Running a low-rake car, Aston Martin’s AMR01 has been harshly penalised by F1’s new floor regulations, the team one of the biggest losers in terms of downforce – and pace.

Scoring just five points in four races, Aston Martin are seventh in the standings, 55 points behind Ferrari in fourth.

“Unfortunately I think P3 is probably a step too far,” Szafnauer admitted to Autosport.

“We will fight hard in the midfield to see how high we can go. But yeah, we’d like to be in the top half by the end of the year.”

He added: “None of us are happy with the situation we’re in.

“We’ve got to be realistic as to what we can do with a frozen car, a frozen rake and regulations that are significantly changing for 2022.

“So, we just have to be realistic to understand the situation we’re in, and do the best we can with the car and the tools that we have.

“For sure there’s always pressure when you’re not achieving where you thought you were going to achieve. But like I said, we all have to be realistic and do what we can, without compromising the 2022 programme.”

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The team’s struggles have raised questions about whether Aston Martin will give up on this year’s championship and instead switch their full focus to 2022 and its new regulations.

Szafnauer says for now the plans remains as it was.

“Not really, we had a plan that we haven’t deviated from,” he said.

“But that was a plan set last year as to how far into this season we’re going to develop this year’s car. We’re still on course.”

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