Aston pushing FIA to cut gap between high, low-rake F1 cars

Aston Martin is pushing the FIA to consider tweaking Formula 1’s aero rules to make things more equal between the high-rake and low-rake runners.

Aston pushing FIA to cut gap between high, low-rake F1 cars

The Silverstone-based team thinks that the changes made to the regulations for this season to cut downforce have unfairly penalised teams that run low rake cars.

It, along with Mercedes, believes that the cuts to the floor, diffuser and brake ducts have cost the low rake teams one second per lap of performance compared to high-rake rivals. The outfits are unable to change rake concept to recover their losses because of strict homologation rules that limit upgrades to major car parts this year.

Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer has expressed some unease about the way in which the new rules were brought in by the FIA, with two key issues understood to be at stake here.

The first is whether or not it was right for the FIA to push the floor changes through on safety grounds, with F1 tyre supplier Pirelli making more robust rubber for this season that will have better coped with higher downforce levels anyway.

Furthermore, there are questions about whether it was right that the F1 organisation, as the commercial rights holder, should have been involved in the process of changing rules for safety.

Szafnauer is clear that, on what was a safety matter, the entire process should have been decided solely by the FIA and not be influenced by outside parties.

“The regulation change that was made for safety reasons, that kind of governance rests solely with the FIA,” he said.

Pushed on the influence that F1 officials had in proposing the eventual changes, Szafnauer said: “Like I said, I think that type of regulation change rests solely with the FIA. They’re the experts.”

Szafnauer said he planned talks with the FIA and hoped the governing body would be able to respond in a way that helped make things fairer for the low rake teams.

“I think the right thing to do is to have the discussions with the FIA, and find out exactly what happened and why. Then we can see if there is something that can be done to make it more equitable.

“I think that’s the right thing to do. We as a team have to work hard to try and claw back everything we can. But at the same time, we should be having the discussions with the FIA to make it a bit more equitable.”

Read Also:

Szafnauer did not rule out taking legal action in the future if a compromise solution was not found.

“I think we get to that point after the discussions,” he said. “It’s hard to predict. I think the right thing to do is to see what can be done.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, whose team has also been impacted by the changes, did not wish to get drawn into the debate right now.

“I think this is a tricky subject, because you need to have the full picture before making any comment,” he added to Sky.

“At that stage, I don’t think it would be right to point the finger at someone or somebody. So I’d rather not talk about it for the time being.”

shares
comments

Related video

McLaren to downsize its iconic F1 motorhome

Previous article

McLaren to downsize its iconic F1 motorhome

Next article

Mercedes F1 drivers ‘a lot happier’ with W12 at Imola

Mercedes F1 drivers ‘a lot happier’ with W12 at Imola
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Aston Martin Racing
Author Jonathan Noble
The AlphaTauri improvements that mean Gasly’s form is no fluke Prime

The AlphaTauri improvements that mean Gasly’s form is no fluke

Pierre Gasly has driven superbly since demotion from Red Bull in 2019, but the team formerly known as Toro Rosso has come on strong too – building a car that can often challenge Ferrari and McLaren. Here Gasly reveals to ALEX KALINAUCKAS how AlphaTauri has given him the tools needed to rebuild his reputation

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Prime

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to Stuart Codling, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion.

Formula 1
May 15, 2021
How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021