Big changes for F1 in 2022 with the new technical regulations entering in effect, changes that put the teams hard at work on development for next year and made them switch focus and resources early on. Commenting on Aston Martin’s progresses so far, Otmar Szafnauer explained that it is hard to tell where they will stand compared to other teams without knowing how the others are progressing.
“It’s really, really hard to tell because you don’t know what the other teams have found and they’re very guarded secrets,” he said during a session with media including MotorLat.
Nonetheless the CEO sounds quite satisfied with how things are developing.
“What I can say is we set ourselves aggressive but achievable targets and we’re on track to meet those aggressive and achievable targets and we’re still finding good gains every week,” he explained.
“But compared to the others it’s impossible [to know], so really we will know in Bahrain or even in Barcelona [testing] when we see what the others have done. It really is impossible to compare.”
“Perhaps the others have set aggressive targets too and they’re meeting them or exceeding them, nobody will tell you.”
With four races to go Aston Martin is 7th in the standings, with a 38 points gap from Alpine and Alpha Tauri. A result that is far worse from last season’s achievements, but Szafnauer explained that focusing on improving the AMR21 was not possible.
“Once the architecture was frozen and the changes were made there’s only so much you can do,” he said.
“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 had limited amount of resource and limited amount of [wind] tunnel time and we had to switch over to ‘22 otherwise it would have impacted our ‘22 season as well,” he continued.
“Would we have liked to have done better? Yes, but we’re realistic that we couldn’t really claw it back with the limited resources that we have, and you’ve got to remember the architecture was frozen. There’s lots of things with an unfrozen architecture we could have tried but we couldn’t, we had those two [development] tokens to use and that was it.”