Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer has confirmed the team's first car this year will carry an entirely new chassis despite the supposed carryover of parts from last season.
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic that severely affected F1 over the first part of last season, it was agreed that the introduction of new regulations would be delayed by a year to 2022 and there would be a freeze on last year's cars into this season in a bid to save money.
The teams, however, were still permitted two development tokens each under the rules to use as they saw fit, which has resulted in Aston Martin opting for chassis changes.
This is due to the fact the FIA has made significant tweaks to the regulations to trim downforce.
"We didn’t have the normal latitude of development that we usually do, so from a philosophy standpoint in running a low-rake car, that has stayed the same," Szafnauer told Sky Sports F1.
“Having said that, even though we didn’t have a lot of latitude for development, the FIA did make aerodynamic changes, and significant ones to take downforce away and slow us down. Because of that, we have had to redevelop the whole thing.
“This is the first time that a carryover car has had many of its parts new, so although the philosophy is carryover we will still have a lot of new parts on the car, a lot of new aerodynamic development, even a new chassis for us as well.
“Although the car will be similar to last year, it’s predominantly new.”
The four aerodynamic changes are all relatively minor, but when added together they do significantly affect downforce, leading to a team like Aston Martin opting to work on how it can make gains again in this area.
Whichever team has greater success then it could ultimately prevail in the race for the best of the rest behind Mercedes and Red Bull.
After narrowly missing out on third in the constructors' championship last season to McLaren, Szafnauer has confirmed "it will be the target for us" for the coming year.
“I don’t think it will be easy, we’ve got some formidable competitors there," he added.
"Ferrari will work hard over the winter to do better than they did last year; McLaren gets a new powertrain, the same one that we have, and I’m sure they did that for reasons of competitiveness.
“And then there are some driver movements as well, so we’ll see how all that pans out. There are some differences.
“And, of course, the FIA have big rule changes. They took out big chunks of the floor for us to lose downforce and depending on how the teams claw that downforce back, that’ll have a big impact on performance as well.
"So there are some things that have changed over the winter, and it will be really interesting to see the job everybody has done and how it pans out in the competitiveness stakes."
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