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F1 | Mexico GP | Szafnauer remains upbeat after the opening day of practice

Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer has divulged in detail the reasons why Aston Martin have struggled in the 2021 season. The Romanian-American also reflected on what was a mixed day for both Aston Martin drivers.

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F1 | Mexico GP | Szafnauer remains upbeat after the opening day of practice
Fuente imagen: @AstonMartinF1

Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer has admitted that a lack of development with this year's car, coupled with the team switching its focus to its 2022 challenger early on in the season, has caused Aston Martin to struggle this season.

The opening day of practice was a mixed one for Aston Martin, with Sebastian Vettel finishing both sessions in the top 10, despite venturing into the wrong pit box, whilst Lance Stroll had a quiet day on track as the Canadian picked up a grid penalty for taking on new power-unit components, condemning him to a back of the grid for Sunday's Mexico City Grand Prix.

Stroll's penalty meant that Aston Martin had to change its plan for the opening day of practice, with Szafnauer revealing to selected media outlets, including Motorlat , that Vettel focused on his one-lap pace, whilst Stroll pushed on with his long-run pace.

“So, (we ran) two different programs just because of that, Lance is really looking at making sure he's got a good race car on Sunday because we know where he's going to start, so it was all about long-run pace, trying to work on the different tyres, understanding the cooling levels that we need on the car and also the levels of speed and overtaking ability we need. ”

“Whereas Sebastian had a different program, and he needs to have a good balance between good pace over one lap as well as good race pace. So yes, Seb had a decent Friday; I think he did his quick times earlier than most, and because of the track being so dirty and dusty, (it) really ramps up, so the later you could have done your quick times, the better off you were, so Seb being in the top 10 bodes well for us. "

Away from the track, Aston Martin has already started looking ahead to the future, with team owner Lawrence Stroll keen to grow the team with a brand new motorsport campus based in Silverstone.

The Canadian businessman also hired Red Bull's former head of aerodynamics, Dan Fallows and former McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh to help spearhead the team's charge up the grid after a disappointing 2021 season which has seen the Silverstone based outfit fall to seventh in the constructors' championship.

“Once the architecture was frozen, and the changes were made, theirs only so much you can do, so we did our best to claw some of that back, but at the same time, we also had to stop trying to claw the downforce back for 2021, because we have a limited amount of resource and a limit amount of tunnel time, and we had to switch over to 22; otherwise would have impacted our 2022 season as well, so yes we would have liked to have done better, but we were realistic that we couldn't really claw back with the limited resources that we had, number one and number two you've got to remember that the architecture was frozen, there is lots of things with an unfrozen architecture we could have tried, but we couldn't we had those two tokens to use and that was it."

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