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Aston Martin-FIA discussions fail to dampen Szafnauer anger

Aston Martin-FIA discussions fail to dampen Szafnauer anger

F1 News

Aston Martin-FIA discussions fail to dampen Szafnauer anger

Aston Martin-FIA discussions fail to dampen Szafnauer anger
Ian Parkes & Sam Hall

Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer has again expressed his anger at the 2021 aerodynamic changes he believes have unfairly hampered his team.

Ahead of the 2021 season, F1 announced a series of changes to the aerodynamic regulations on safety grounds to ensure the loads experienced by the Pirelli tyres remained within secure working parameters.

At this time, Pirelli did not expect to be able to produce a new construction for the current season. The tyre supplier, however, eventually managed to do so, but with the aerodynamic changes remaining in place.

At Imola, Szafnauer said Aston Martin would consider taking legal action against the FIA over the rules changes. While talks have since taken place, Szafnauer remains annoyed.

Asked if he could now rule out the prospect of suing, Szafnauer sidestepped the question and answered: “We had good discussions with the FIA to understand the process and how we got to where we got to.

"The discussions have almost come to an end and I think we made good progress to having a better understanding of what transpired.”

Despite Szafnauer's claims the low-rake cars have suffered disproportionately, Mercedes has taken two wins from the first three races, a statistic he said did not paint the full picture.

As evidence, Szafnauer reflected on the 30 seconds lost to rival teams in Portugal by both Aston Martin and the championship leaders from last year race to Sunday.

“We developed a high-rake car for many, many years since the high-rake concept started with the blown floor and we were one of the only ones to change, actually the only one to change from a high-rake philosophy to a low-rake,' added Szafnauer.

“So we’ve got the ability internally, through both CFD and doing tunnel runs as well as the experience, to have a look at the changes and be able to determine if it is more detrimental to one philosophy than the other which is exactly what we did.

"It is exactly what we brought up in August of last year and we, I think, were proven correct."

Szafnauer's added grievance remains the process with which the regulation changes were conceived, and in a Friday media session, a dispute broke out between himself and AlphaTauri counterpart Franz Tost.

Tost said: “We all know the process when a new regulation is coming in and this new floor regulation was fixed last year.

"It was agreed by all the teams, was sanctioned by the Formula 1 Commission and by the World Motorsport Council and therefore, I don’t see any chance that this regulation can be, in the short-term, changed.

“It is up to the teams to interpret the regulation in the best possible way to get the most out of it.”

In response, Szafnauer retorted: "Just for the record, it wasn’t voted, it was done on safety grounds and it was unilateral."

He further added: “Three teams voted against the technical working group but the technical working group was an indicative vote.

"The technical working group doesn’t have a right to vote anyway, it was just an indication and then it was done on safety grounds unilaterally. But that is just for the record.”

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