It was another disappointing Saturday for the Aston Martin team in Silverstone, just down the road from its factory. In similar fashion to the wet qualifying session in Montreal, both Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll didn’t have the pace to go through to the second segment of qualifying in a very wet track, in what is a bit of a trend recently for the team.
Team Principal Mike Krack spoke to MotorLAT and other selected media outlets on Sunday after the British GP, and explained how the team is yet to fully understand why it is lacking pace in the wet conditions – and is puzzled as to why the ‘A-spec’ car showed great wet pace in earlier races and the current ‘AMR22B’ is not on that level:
“It needs a little bit more understanding of the car. Just to give an example, when you have high porpoising, you put a lot of energy in the tyres, if you don’t, you don’t. So it changes completely the way you have to set-up your car, in the dry and in the wet.
“And there’s a couple of problems there we need to understand, because there might be side effects that we’re not on top of. If you look back, we had some races where we were very strong in the wet [Imola, Monaco], and we had now two [qualifying] sessions [Canada and Britain] that we were not.
“This, to be honest, we don’t really understand.”
Nevertheless, a clever strategy and good race pace got Sebastian Vettel up into the points in P9 on Sunday, leaving the team just two points eighth place team Haas. Vettel took the second standing start – after a long red flag for a multi-car crash in turn one – on the Soft tyres, but quickly changed to the mediums on lap six and was running in 7th place until the late safety car. After the restart, he was overtaken by the struggling Max Verstappen and Mick Schumacher.
Speaking on this, Krack believes more could have been possible if the team acted differently during the safety car period, but is pleased to get points from such lowly starting positions for both drivers:
“If you told me [on Saturday], two points [in the race], I think I would’ve taken it. But if we look how the race went, and the opportunities that were there, at the end of the day, I think we did not get as much out of it as possible. So it’s a little bit of a bitter taste.
“I think if you look at lap 38 and what happened afterwards [Safety Car period], looking back again, I think we could have done better
“If you told me yesterday, from P18 and P20 you will finish with two points, I think we all would have signed.”
Asked about why Lance Stroll isn’t yet on the pace of four-time champion Vettel, Krack explained the difference was down to a different approach to the wet qualifying, and believes there is “no reason” for difference in other scenarios:
“I think the difference was not big. The difference we saw was obviously then from the wet qualifying, and we have seen that in qualifying we have made different choices. All in all, there’s no reason why there should be a difference,” he concluded.
What a race! Drama from start to finish at @SilverstoneUK.#SV5 P18 ➡️ P09#LS18 P20 ➡️ P11— Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) July 3, 2022
Great job by both drivers today and we come away from a tough home race weekend with points in the bag. 👊#F1 #BritishGP pic.twitter.com/JrnPcJ2hZw