Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer has revealed a level of “pent-up excitement” within his organisation he has not witnessed for a number of years as F1 builds towards its new era next season.
With a new set of regulations to work to, aerodynamicists stymied for some time by rules that meant there was little scope for ingenuity have again been given free rein to exploit their talents.
With the focus within all teams on 2022, assessing what he has witnessed so far inside Aston Martin, Szafnauer told GPFans Global: “Probably the last time I saw something like this was when we switched to the regulations we have now back in 2014.
“That was the last time we had this bit of pent-up excitement and working. The regulations now are even a further departure from the previous year back then.
“The excitement of doing something different is there in all areas too, not just aerodynamics but vehicle science, the simulation group, manufacturing, quality control.
“Everywhere within the group, to see how or what product we end up with and how competitive it is at the end of the day, is quite exciting.
“That’s because it will look different, it will perform differently, we’ll have to set her up differently and the drivers will have to drive it differently.”
Aston Martin confident of strong season end after disappointing start
For now, the possibility of a further 12 races remains – dependant on potential calendar alterations – as the team continues to overcome the handicap inflicted upon it at the start of the season by the new downforce rules.
Languishing in seventh place in the constructors’ standings – not helped by Sebastian Vettel‘s disqualification from second at the last race in Hungary – Szafnauer feels the fight for fifth is far from over.
“We had a bit of a disappointing start due to the unilateral regulation check made by the FIA which hurt low-rake cars more than high-rake cars, so we took a big step backwards,” added Szafnauer.
“So it was difficult at the beginning. We had only three days of testing which meant Seb didn’t get the time in the car to gel with the team, so that took a little bit longer than we anticipated.
“We clawed back some of the performance pretty early on and we’ve had some good races and some good points finishes, and we hope to continue that for the rest of the year.
“If we can get both drivers in the top 10 on Sunday, then I think we’ll be in good shape in the midfield.”