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
Why 2022 could be Leclerc's best chance to end his Monaco F1 curse Prime

Why 2022 could be Leclerc's best chance to end his Monaco F1 curse

Charles Leclerc's ill-fortune at his home Formula 1 race is well-established. But his single lap pace and over longer runs during Friday practice will leave the Ferrari driver upbeat that he can make up for his Barcelona disappointment by finally recording a finish and perhaps even banking 25 world championship points in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix...

The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom Prime

The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom

Sell out crowds at Formula 1 races are the norm rather than the exception these days, as grand prix racing is enjoying a massive boom under Liberty Media. But the Spanish Grand Prix highlighted numerous issues some circuits may face as demand for F1 soars

Formula 1
May 26, 2022
The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice Prime

The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice

OPINION: Red Bull walked into a team orders saga on its way to taking a Spanish Grand Prix 1-2 last weekend, where it took the lead of the 2022 Formula 1 world championships for the first time. But its decisions have added an element of risk to later races.

Formula 1
May 25, 2022
Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed Prime

Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed

Mercedes' strong showing in last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix prompted team boss Toto Wolff to say it had halved its deficit to the leaders and its Formula 1 title chances were back on after a rocky start to the 2022 campaign. But a closer inspection of the team's performance suggests its gains aren't as grand as they first appeared

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy? Prime

What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy?

From the 'pink Mercedes' to the 'Green Red Bull', the Silverstone-based team has received suspicious glares from up and down the Formula 1 paddock over its car design exploits. But after being cleared by the FIA over its Spanish Grand Prix updates amid a backdrop of cries of foul play, what's next in this saga?

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

In an unusually hectic Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was denied a dominant performance by his Ferrari engine letting go which allowed Max Verstappen to pick up the pieces. But numerous flashpoints kept the race twisting and turning throughout, with one perfect score from an emerging contender

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain Prime

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari engine disaster offered an open goal for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to strike, but the reigning Formula 1 world champion still had to solve multiple errors and profit from a begrudged assist from team-mate Sergio Perez, which created an unexpectedly eventful Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022