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Aston Martin refusing to throw in the towel on F1 2021 just yet

Aston Martin refusing to throw in the towel on F1 2021 just yet

F1 News

Aston Martin refusing to throw in the towel on F1 2021 just yet

Aston Martin refusing to throw in the towel on F1 2021 just yet
Ian Parkes & Will Gray

Otmar Szafnauer has promised Aston Martin’s fans it has “not given up” already on this season despite plummeting down the order following a disastrous opening race in Bahrain.

The team, which won the Sakhir Grand Prix around Bahrain's Outer Circuit as Racing Point in early December last year, has been hampered more than most by new rule changes for this season aimed at reducing downforce at the rear of the car.

While Sebastian Vettel endured a wretched weekend overall on his debut, Lance Stroll at least rescued a point with a 10th-place finish.

With most teams pondering when to switch their entire programme over to the 2022 regulations that are the most wide-sweeping for years, Szafnauer maintains the bad result in Bahrain will not be forcing Aston Martin's hand just yet.

“There's more to come," insisted Szafnauer. "We have found things in the tunnel and in CFD, so we will start bringing them to the track pretty soon.

“We haven't given up on this year. It's just a matter of clawing back the deficit that was imposed on us by the FIA through their regulation change based on safety.

"The changes were all made around the rear of the floor, around the tyre area, so that's where we have to start looking for more downforce, so it will be rear downforce we're looking to improve.

"With that comes better balance, being able to dial in more front wing and hoping it takes off. Hopefully, by the time we get to Portimao [the third race on May 2] we will have improved the car a little bit more and we'll work hard at it.”

As Racing Point, the team was heavily criticised last year for modelling its car on the title-winning Mercedes of the previous season, which also runs a low-rake philosophy as do Aston Martin.

That has at least filled Szafnauer with confidence in the future given Mercedes has been able to overcome its own losses by winning in Bahrain following a hard-fought battle with Red Bull.

"We have to see what kind of lap times they are able to do,” added Szafnauer.

"We have the same powertrain, same gearbox, same rear suspension, so if they are able to do those lap times then we should be able to get close. That gives us some hope.”

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