The British team Aston Martin — formerly known as Racing Point — experienced a strong 2020 season, ending it on the fourth place of the constructors’ standing, with its drivers gathering a win and podiums. Unfortunately, the team’s momentum went to a sudden halt, as a result of the aerodynamic regulations introduced for 2021 that has cut cars’ rear downforce.
The impact of such aerodynamic changes resulted in a difficult start for the Silverstone-based, as the team managed to score only five points in the first four races of the season, courtesy of Lance Stroll.
However in Monaco, the Aston Martin drivers lineup both ended in the points, as Sebastian Vettel made the most of an overcut strategy to jump ahead of Hamilton and Gasly for P5, with Lance Stroll holding on to the four points of the eighth place thanks to a long first stint on the hard tyres.
Reflecting on the reasons behind such a strong result, the team owner Lawrence Stroll stated why he believed the outcome of the race was a very well deserved one, regarding the cars’ pace and the strategy execution by the team’s pitwall.
"It was very much on merit. A great weekend for both cars. Pace was there, strategy was there, a well-executed plan,” Stroll told Motorsport.com.
“We had a difficult start to the season, we were dealt a bad hand with the rule changes, cutting the floor, which really hurt the low-rake cars. Us and Mercedes both lost close to a second a lap versus our competitors.”
The Canadian highlighted Aston Martin’s continued efforts to catch up from rules that have mainly affected the cars with a low rake philosophy, pointing nonetheless to the need to find the right balance between improving the 2020’s car performance versus pouring resources for the next season’s car.
“So we’re trying to claw our way back and never give up, and we keep bringing bits to the car to try and get back to where we should be.”
“I don't think we can get back to last year's performance, because then we’d have to give up focus obviously on the ‘22 car. It’s a fine balance. But we'll fight right to the end."
Questioned about the negative impact the dip in performance at the start of the season could have had on the Aston Martin name, Stroll was adamant it did not have any, as he pointed to the aerodynamic change as the reason for the team’s struggles.
"I don't think it took away from the rebranding and that excitement. That's been phenomenal. We see it through fan engagement.”
“But it's disappointing when you put in all the hard work and cars are frozen from a homologation point of view, and then you get to the first race and realise they weren't really frozen from a homologation point of view.”
“And again, due to what everybody's quite aware of, the cut in the floor, that really hurt the low-rake cars. So obviously that's extremely frustrating.”
Ultimately for the Aston Martin shareholder, the team is resolutely turned towards the future, by bringing as many new parts to the car as possible, in order to make it more and more competitive.
"We've put that behind us. We're just working on clawing back as much as we can.”
"We've got a few more things to come. I don't know exactly how much, to be honest with you. We're certainly not finished bringing something to the car, but it clearly can't be too much longer."