Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
Event finished
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
FP1 in
4 days
R
Portuguese GP
02 May
Race in
20 days
09 May
Next event in
24 days
23 May
Race in
41 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
55 days
13 Jun
Race in
63 days
27 Jun
Race in
76 days
04 Jul
Next event in
80 days
18 Jul
Race in
97 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
111 days
29 Aug
Race in
139 days
05 Sep
Race in
146 days
26 Sep
Race in
167 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
171 days
10 Oct
Race in
181 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
196 days
31 Oct
Race in
203 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
223 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
244 days

New aero rules cost low-rake cars 1s per lap - Aston Martin

Aston Martin believes Formula 1's new aero rules have cost low-rake cars around one second per lap of performance compared to their high-rake rivals.

New aero rules cost low-rake cars 1s per lap - Aston Martin

The British sportscar manufacturer endured a tough first qualifying of the season in Bahrain on Saturday, with Sebastian Vettel getting knocked out in Q1 to line up 18th, and Lance Stroll qualifying 10th.

On a track configuration where at the end of last year the team was fighting for a podium finish, it has been left in no doubt that the floor changes for 2021 have significantly hurt the low- rake concept cars like its own AMR21 and rival Mercedes.

Speaking after qualifying, Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer said: "When we last raced here in Bahrain – just four months ago – we were heading for a podium, on merit, before a power unit issue ended Checo's race.

"We will not be anywhere near that kind of performance here now, and the direct cause of that performance drop-off is the new-for-2021 aero regulations, imposed on all the teams.

"If you compare the qualifying times between those two races here in Bahrain, now and four months ago, it looks like the high-rake aero philosophy cars have gained around a second per lap compared to the low-rake aero philosophy cars.

"So Mercedes and ourselves are the teams worst affected."

Read Also:

Szafnauer said that the situation his team faced was hard to accept, especially after so much effort had been made over the winter ahead of Aston Martin's F1 return.

"I'm not happy," he said. "And when I say I'm not happy, I mean I'm not happy for our two great drivers; I'm not happy for the 500 great men and women who designed, built and are now running our new car; and I'm not happy for our sponsor-partners or our fans, either.

"Having said that, we will of course now work hard to make up as much of the performance deficit as possible in the upcoming races."

With the rake concept so fundamental to the overall car design though, Szafnauer says there is little that Aston Martin and Mercedes can do in the short term because of strict homologation rules.

"After carefully analysing data from testing and this weekend, it is clear that the new-for-2021 aero regulations have impacted cars with a low-rake aero philosophy significantly more damagingly than cars with a high-rake aero philosophy," he added.

"Specifically, the change in floor dimensions and profile at the rear of the cars has had a profound negative effect on the performance of cars with low-rake aero philosophy, such as our car and the Mercedes car.

"It is not only us who are speaking about this issue – Toto spoke about it in the FIA press conference yesterday.

"We cannot make a change to a high-rake aero philosophy car even if we wanted to, and neither can Mercedes, because the suspension on this year's cars has been homologated."

Asked if he felt the aero rules had been deliberately brought in to hinder some teams and level up the playing field, Szafnauer said: "What I'm saying is that the new-for-2021 aero regulations have impacted cars with a low-rake aero philosophy more damagingly than cars with a high-rake aero philosophy.

"So Mercedes and ourselves have suffered, whereas the high-rake aero philosophy cars such as those of Red Bull and Alpha Tauri, and McLaren and Ferrari, have not."

shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton: F1 floor rules change aimed at slowing down Mercedes

Previous article

Hamilton: F1 floor rules change aimed at slowing down Mercedes

Next article

Sainz thought qualifying "was over" after Q1 glitch

Sainz thought qualifying "was over" after Q1 glitch
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Prime

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Prime

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle.

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb Prime

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen's emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber teammate's own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here's how Nick Heidfeld's career was chilled by the Iceman.

Formula 1
Apr 3, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Prime

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Verstappen's Bahrain mistake can only make him stronger Prime

How Verstappen's Bahrain mistake can only make him stronger

Max Verstappen lost out to Lewis Hamilton at the Bahrain Grand Prix by a tiny margin, slipping off the track just as victory was within his grasp. But the painful lesson from defeat can only help Verstappen come back even stronger

Formula 1
Mar 31, 2021