The summer break is the perfect occasion for teams and drivers to stop and observe their work so far. The Circus forces them to work tirelessly and fast, leaving them no time to stop and look back at what they’ve done and how they are proceeding toward their goals, so this four-week stop is the perfect occasion, especially for young teams, to have their mid-term report. Aston Martin is at the first break of its maiden season in modern Formula 1 after many years and its Performance Director Tom McCullough reflects on how the team is going so far.
“It is a well-known fact that we started the season on the back foot, as a result of regulatory changes that affected the aero performance of low-rake cars more adversely than high-rake cars. Our car is a low-rake car”
At this point, McCullough makes a comparison between their team and the top one of the turbo era, Mercedes. He points points put that, even if both teams use low-rake car, the Silver Arrow can take advantage of last season’s experience, as it was there on track, meanwhile they worked on building a completely new car.
“At the beginning of this year we therefore slipped towards the back of that very competitive midfield, - he adds, - but, as I say, that was the result of the regulatory changes. Since then, though, I want to acknowledge the tremendous amount of very hard work that has been done by our colleagues in aero, design and manufacturing, who have tirelessly clawed back that performance deficit, inventing and making aero updates that we appraised first in CFD [computational fluid dynamics], then tested in the windtunnel, then, finally, manufactured and fitted to our race car.”
“It is working. – he continues - We know that our car is still not the fastest, but it is now closer in performance to the cars of our principal rivals than it was at the beginning of the season, and that is the result of a carefully managed programme of aero improvement that has necessarily involved trial and error but has also delivered real results.”, the Performance Director said. “It has been a very impressive body of work, and I salute my colleagues for it. However, like almost all the teams, after the summer shutdown we will transfer that effort and resource to the task of making our 2022 car as competitive as possible.”
Aston Martin can also count on something more that Lance Stroll senior money: the two drivers.
Wishing you a very happy birthday, boss! 🎉 pic.twitter.com/3lwzIgc0k4— Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) August 13, 2021
“We have been impressed by both Lance and Sebastian so far this year. Lance is a very hard worker. He has done a large number of sessions in our simulator, and his contribution has been very significant.”
He is also satisfied with Vettel, a four-time world champion who comes from a frustrating partnership with Ferrari and in need of a new adventure ahead.
“Our 'new boy', Sebastian, was at first disadvantaged by his initial unfamiliarity with the way our car operates and feels, then by the unreliability that he suffered in the pre-season test in Bahrain. But he has worked very diligently since then, in our simulator at the factory and at the circuits, to help us analyse our previous races with a view to preparing for our upcoming races in the best way possible.”
In conclusion, he talks about all the benefits of the summer break as an occasion to reflect and work to improve, eyeing not only the final part of the 2021 season but also the 2022 one.
“Although the highlight of our first 10 races was undoubtedly Sebastian's excellent second place in Azerbaijan, it is worth remembering that, but for an accident whose causes were totally outside his control, Lance was also heading for an extremely strong finish on the tricky streets of Baku that afternoon. After a well deserved rest, we will go again when we return to the fray at Spa in late August.”