After a difficult start to the year the former Racing Point team showed much improved form in Monaco, where Sebastian Vettel finished fifth and Lance Stroll eighth.
The team lost much of the momentum that it had established at the end of last season as a result of the changes to aerodynamic rules introduced for this year.
It has regularly been bringing updates to the car, including further floor revisions for Monaco, where Vettel logged his best qualifying position and race result of the year to date.
A double score, thanks to strong strategies implemented to bring both drivers up the order, helped the team move from seventh to fifth in the constructors’ championship.
“It was very much on merit,” Stroll told Motorsport.com. “A great weekend for both cars. Pace was there, strategy was there, a well-executed plan.
“We had a difficult start to the season, we were dealt a bad hand with the rule changes, cutting the floor, which really hurt the low-rake cars. Us and Mercedes both lost close to a second a lap versus our competitors.
“So we’re trying to claw our way back and never give up, and we keep bringing bits to the car to try and get back to where we should be.
“I don’t think we can get back to last year’s performance, because then we’d have to give up focus obviously on the ‘22 car. It’s a fine balance. But we’ll fight right to the end.”
Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR21
Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
Stroll said the dip in performance at the start of the season did not have a negative impact on the much-publicised move to the Aston Martin name.
“I don’t think it took away from the rebranding and that excitement,” he said. “That’s been phenomenal. We see it through fan engagement.
“But it’s disappointing when you put in all the hard work and cars are frozen from a homologation point of view, and then you get to the first race and realise they weren’t really frozen from a homologation point of view.
“And again, due to what everybody’s quite aware of, the cut in the floor, that really hurt the low-rake cars. So obviously that’s extremely frustrating.”
Stroll says the team has moved on from the controversy over how the aero rule changes came about, and instead is focusing its efforts into bringing new updates across 2021.
Aston Martin has introduced an updated floor and reworked sidepods over the course of the season so far to compensate for the rules changes implemented for the start of the year.
“We’ve put that behind us,” Stroll added. “We’re just working on clawing back as much as we can.
“We’ve got a few more things to come. I don’t know exactly how much, to be honest with you. We’re certainly not finished bringing something to the car, but it clearly can’t be too much longer.”