Aston Martin CEO Otmar Szafnauer has revealed that they do not know why they suffered brake-related issues while approaching the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Just before the race, both Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel’s rear brakes ignited and then melted away while they were on their way to the grid.
The team managed to repair Stroll’s brakes so that he could start the race. But, Vettel’s repairs were not completed on time and he had to start the race from the pit lane.
Due to the delay in the repairs, Vettel’s tyres weren’t fitted before the five-minute deadline. As a result, he was awarded a 10-second stop-go penalty.
Szafnauer was unable to pinpoint the reason for the brake fail.
“I was just in the debrief and we still don’t. We’ll get all the data for the laps to the grid. What happened was, we overheated the rear brakes and the laps to the grid weren’t at the normal pace that we usually go, so we didn’t get the airflow,” he said.
“But we’re aware of that, and even with that, the settings are such that they shouldn’t have caught fire. We overheated them but we don’t know why or how.”
Stroll managed to finish the race in the eighth position, while Vettel further had gearbox issues which meant that he had to retire early.
Szafnauer said that Vettel’s car suffered gear-sync issues every time he crossed the start-finish straight.
“There’s some indicators,” Szafnauer said. “It seems like every time we pass the start-finish line we lost the synchronisation of the gearbox. So there’s some clues but we still don’t know why.”
Aston Martin is currently in the sixth place on the constructors’ championship with five points. However, Szafnauer is certain that future races will be more in their favor.
“We’re still working hard at that,” Szafnauer added. “It seems like we’ve got to look really hard at one-lap pace. It looks like race pace was a little bit better, although we had drying conditions here, wet conditions and people on different tyres, so it’s hard to know.
But I think Lance did a brilliant job to come home seventh from where he started in a tough race.
“Unfortunately, Seb had the gearbox issue and also the penalty, so it didn’t really help. But we’ll look through all the data and we’ll work hard to pull it back.”
What do you think was the reason for both Aston Martin cars facing the same issue? Let us know in the comments below!