The Formula 1 season had only just started when Aston Martin came forward with a complaint: the team felt that they were greatly disadvantaged by the new aero rules and claimed that the vote on the rule change had not been fair. Not long after, team principal Otmar Szafnauer backed down somewhat, but it seems that he is not yet prepared to give up. This is reinforced by the suggestion that Mercedes is assisting the team in its protest behind the scenes.
In Imola, it seemed that Szafnauer was satisfied with the FIA‘s explanation of the voting process. In Portimao however opposite stories surfaced again, as reported by Auto, Motor und Sport: Aston Martin would still claim that the rule changes put its cars at a disadvantage compared to the teams with a higher rake concept.
Aston Martin would still like to reverse rule change
The rule itself cannot be contested; a team only has a chance if it can prove that the decision-making process did not follow the correct procedure. This seems to be the strategy Aston Martin has chosen to get the rule reversed. There was reportedly a unanimous vote in favour of the rule change, but Aston Martin claims they didn’t vote for it, and says that McLaren and Mercedes voted against it as well.
McLaren doesn’t want to know anything about this, and the question is how much sense it would have made. The rule was introduced for safety reasons because the Pirelli tyres couldn’t cope with the high downforce. At the time, the teams unanimously agreed with this basic principle.
Now owner Lawrence Stroll seemingly wants to increase the pressure, and for this, he reportedly has called in the help of Toto Wolff. With the help of Mercedes, he hopes to put pressure on the FIA to undo the rule change. However, since Mercedes is still winning races with the same low rake concept, it will be a difficult case for Aston Martin.