Williams feel ‘jealousy’ behind Aston Martin rear wing complaints

Michelle Foster
Sebastian Vettel running Aston Martin's controversial rear wing. Hungary July 2022

Sebastian Vettel running Aston Martin's controversial rear wing on his AMR22. Hungary July 2022

Williams’ Dave Robson believes “jealousy” is behind all the eyebrows that were raised by rivals when Aston Martin debuted their controversial high-downforce rear wing in Hungary.

Aston Martin ran a new rear wing at the Hungaroring, one that was radically different to their rivals’ designs and more in line with last year’s downforce philosophy.

That, though, had rivals suggesting it contravened the intent of the all-new 2022 regulations.

But with the FIA said to be “happy” with the design, Aston Martin went ahead and used it, Sebastian Vettel scoring a single point in 10th place.



Robson, Williams’ head of vehicle performance, reckons the only reason rivals even said anything about the wing is because they were “jealous” they hadn’t thought of it.

“Isn’t that what you say when you’re a bit jealous and realise that you didn’t see it yourself?” he said as per GPFans.

“The rules are so complicated and the way that they are written means that there are always potential loopholes and because they’re written in so much detail, no one is going to follow the spirit if there is a way to get an advantage.

“I don’t see any problem with that, that is just how the sport is.

“If it’s technically legal, but if some people wanted to argue that it is against the spirit, I think that just means that the regs need tightening up in the way that they’re written.

“Fair play to Aston Martin. That’s what makes the sport interesting, to be honest, so I’ve got no problem with that at all.”

The Aston Martin car with its modified rear wing attached. Budapest, July 2022.

Already this season Formula 1 has seen the FIA tighten up a regulation relating to front-floor skids and planks, motorsport’s governing body taking steps to eradicate a grey area that was said to be allowing teams to increase the flexibility of their floors.

Read more: PlanetF1’s Hall of Fame: Ayrton Senna – The father, son and Holy Ghost of F1

Aston Martin have conceded that there might come a time when something similar happens with their rear wing interpretation, although they don’t expect that would be before next season.

“I’m not aware of there being any problem with it,” Robson continued. “I was talking more about the spirit of the regulation and not necessarily adhering to what someone might consider to be the spirit.

“On that particular piece of technology, if it is legal, and it seems to be, that’s ok.

“It’s just now whether people spend time and effort copying it or whether everyone agrees that we’ll change the way the rules are written to line the rules up with what the intended spirit is.

“We’ll see how that pans out.”