Aston Martin’s new design to their AMR22 car has sparked quite a bit of interest this weekend at the Spanish Grand Prix, with them overhauling their sidepods.
Indeed, that caused Red Bull to suggest it was too similar to their RB18 for it to be a simple coincidence but, with clearance from the FIA over the design, Aston have said that they have no concerns that they are flouting copying rules.
That said, then, it was always going to be interesting to see how the new-look Aston performed this weekend at a sweltering Circuit de Catalunya but, with both drivers knocked out in Q1, it’s evident that they have work in front of them to really hit the sweetspot with the fresh design.
Sebastian Vettel, though, has backed the team to keep with the route they’re heading down, and suggested that in time they will see the benefits of bringing it in:
“If you look at the lap times it’s not that different, but we knew that it was not going to be a massive step in performance straight away,” said the 4-time world champion to the gathered press here in Spain after qualifying.
“But we do believe in the concept. And we’re confident that there’s more to come. It’s very early. It’s basically a new car that ran so it is different.
“I’m still figuring it out. I thought I had a good feeling and in quali I was slowed down by let’s say, the poor car balance in terms of struggling to get a feel for the rear, the trust in the rear of the car. It was moving too much.”
It’s hardly surprising that time is needed for both Aston drivers to get to grips with their tweaked car, and so they won’t be too harsh on themselves for this weekend’s qualifying showing.
Ultimately, Aston believe in the path they have chosen to take in changing the sidepods around, and over the next few races we should start to see whether that is the right call rather than making a decision just based on this weekend.