Cost cap stifling Aston Martin’s F1 recovery

Sebastian Vettel aboard the Aston Martin AMR22

Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack has suggested that the impact of the Formula 1 cost cap is impacting his squad’s ability to turn its fortunes around.

Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll have combined for a total of 18 points from the opening 11 races, leaving it ninth in the standings and ahead only of Williams.

It comes as a sharp contrast to the team which won the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix and enjoyed a podium with Vettel in Azerbaijan last season.

Aston Martin this season debuted with a car that sported notable sidepods, a move said by chief technical officer Andrew Green at the launch to be a product of maximising development avenues.

At the Spanish Grand Prix, a significant bodywork introduction saw the entire concept of the car change, leading to baseless accusations by some in the paddock that it had copied Red Bull.

However, the arrival of what is in essence a b-spec car has done little to change the trajectory of the operation, which has seen both drivers eliminated in Qualifying 1 at the last three races.

“I think our technical office has understood and also know what to do for the future,” Krack said when asked about the AMR22’s weaknesses.

“But then it’s a matter of time and financial resource what you do now. But I think it is identified, yes.”

That poses something of a dilemma for the team at a time when most are considering how they begin shifting resources onto their respective 2023 programmes.

By addressing the issue now, Aston Martin is investing time and money into this year’s car, which comes at the expense of both those finite resources being available for the 2023 car.

“It’s a very tough call,” Krack said the issue.

“Obviously you do not want to finish the year in a situation where we are now but you also do not want to compromise next year.

“So we have to very carefully evaluate what can we do at this point to move a little bit out of the situation where we are without compromising next year’s car.

“There is a lot of discussions going on there with our technical people, and we need to really find the correct the correct balance.”

Aston Martin has invested heavily in recent seasons, both in terms of personnel with a number of high-profile engineering signings, and in facilities.

Construction is currently underway on an expansive new facility adjacent to the team’s existing factory which, although it has grown slightly over the years, remains that first used by Jordan when the team was founded in 1991.

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