According to Aston Martin F1 CEO Otmar Szafnauer, the changes in the 2021 aerodynamic regulations have hurt his team’s cars more than the others especially after its disappointing performance in the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
Owing to Lance Stroll’s tenth place at Bahrain, Aston Martin managed to pick up a solitary point in the first race of the season.
The Silverstone based outfit managed to end last season with the third fastest car. Sergio Perez was on course to take a podium at the very same circuit but ended up suffering an engine failure.
The new 2021 regulations have forced teams to redesign the rear floor and diffuser in order to slow down F1 cars on safety grounds.
These new regulations have hit cars that have a low-rake concept including Mercedes and Aston Martin. On the other hand, high rake cars such as Red Bull and AlphaTauri have benefitted from these new rules.
While talking about Aston Martin’s performance at Bahrain, Szafnauer mentioned that it was a “rude awakening” for the entire team.
“I think the rude awakening happened in qualifying when we realised after analysing the data that the low-rake cars were hampered significantly more by the regulation change, the aero reg changes. We expected a tough race, but there’s some positives to take out of it,” Szafnauer said.
“On the soft and medium tyre we looked pretty competitive in the midfield, overtook some of our competitors, catching some of the others. We struggled a bit on the hard tyre at the end and we’ve got to understand that.
“In race conditions we’re a bit more competitive than we were on one lap but compared to where we were just a few months ago here, before the regulation change, we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Due to a new token system that is being used in 2021 there are limits on chassis upgrades and the suspension being homologated. As a result, Aston Martin is unable to change the rake level of their car.
“It’s unfortunately worse than that, the first time ever that I can remember in my 24 years of the sport where we’ve had to homologate the suspension due to the covid regulations if you remember,” Szafnauer added.
“You can only change it if you actually used your tokens on suspension, so even if we wanted to run 150mm rear ride height we can’t.”
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