Aston Martin dismiss Red Bull criticism as ‘white noise’

Red Bull has been pretty damning in its comments on this season's Aston Martin

Red Bull has been pretty damning in its comments on this season’s Aston Martin

Aston Martin has dismissed the disparaging remarks out of Red Bull this season about its AMR23 as “white noise” following its remarkable surge up the F1 pecking order.

After finishing seventh in last season’s constructors’ championship, Aston Martin has leapfrogged Mercedes, Ferrari, and Alpine to become the second-quickest car on the grid.

Although the car has the same power unit, gearbox and rear suspension as Mercedes, it is in the aerodynamics where Red Bull has felt the Aston bears a striking resemblance to last year’s all-conquering RB18.

Whilst there are similarities, the car has enough of its own DNA to detach itself from the comments of Christian Horner, Helmut Marko and Sergio Perez that followed the season-opening result in Bahrain where Fernando Alonso was third.

Horner, in particular, said it was “good to see the old car going so well”, with Alonso following up with another third position in the subsequent race in Saudi Arabia.

Much of the work on the car has stemmed from the minds of technical director Dan Fallows and assistant TD Eric Blandin, who previously worked for Red Bull and Aston Martin respectively.

Asked by Speedcafe about the remarks from Red Bull, performance director Tom McCullough said: “That’s always going to happen.

“To be honest, it’s white noise to me. We just get on with our job, we know what we’re doing. We’re just trying not to let that stuff distract us.”

Aston air development concern

Even with Red Bull’s penalty for breaching the 2021 budget cap taking effect this season, McCullough concedes it will be tough for Aston Martin to close the gap that currently exists.

McCullough even feels his team will likely be out-developed by both Mercedes and Ferrari this year as those two teams take strides to push on from what is a relatively lowly platform by their high standards given their disadvantage to Red Bull.

“Our aim is to develop the hell out of this car and get as close as we can to them,” remarked McCullough.

“But they’re not going to stand still. They have a good margin, especially over one lap with how fast their car is.

“With Ferrari and Mercedes, it will be very hard to maintain the development rate with those teams this year, never mind Red Bull.

“But, for sure, we are sat there, week in and week out, trying our damnedest.”

Red Bull cost-cap penalty helpful but not dominant

Aston Martin does have, however, a considerable advantage over Red Bull when it comes to additional wind tunnel time this year.

Red Bull came into this season with ‘a penalty’ for winning last year’s title as there is a sliding scale of time allocated dependent on championship-finishing position.

The addition of the punishment for exceeding the cost cap made the deficit to their rivals considerably worse.

McCullough, though, feels Aston’s charge is more than simply to do with what they’ve been able to glean in the wind tunnel.

“It’s part of the regulations, and to allow for a bit of that, it definitely helps,” said McCullough.

“But I don’t think that’s the dominant factor. It’s more the restructuring we’ve done, the lessons that we learned early last year, and then the lessons we learned during last year.

“What we’re seeing now is just a continuation of that. There’s a lot of stuff that happened last year, which from a cost cap side of things we couldn’t do.

“In years gone by, we would have made last year’s car even quicker during the season. There’s stuff in the past you would be doing but now you just can’t do.

“With the cost cap side of things, you start afresh at the start of the next season.”

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