Aston Martin is confident that its B version is good for the top ten. In Barcelona the car was still very new. The pilots could not afford to make any mistakes due to the lack of spare parts. The AMR22B is the second car in the weight limit after the Alfa-Sauber.
Aston Martin missed out on Barcelona and still hit the headlines. Because of the resemblance to Red Bull, many wondered how there could be so many similarities. By the way, not much if you take the RP20 Tournament Point from 2020 as a score. From the tip of the nose to the rear wing, it was a Mercedes 2019 decal. This time, the similarities are limited to the area between the axles.
And anyway, the B version is not a perfect mirror image of Red Bull. The cooling inlets are different, asymmetrical gills on the left and right sides, perhaps also the arrangement of the radiators and the engine cover. The nose, front wing and rear section were taken from the presentation model or further developed on this basis.
In addition, the AMR22B is on the weight limit, which Red Bull has not quite achieved. “We even drive the car using rubber,” reveals Chief Technology Officer Andy Green. The A version of the car weighed 20 kg at the start of the season. By Miami they had lost ten kilos.
AMR22 is still too slow for points
On paper, Aston Martin’s second infusion is too early. “A car for the top ten,” engineers believe. That had already been demonstrated in free practice sessions, in single laps and over long periods. But in qualifying, the lap time fell by the wayside.
Engineers had to switch to a second large cooling setup due to heat, which pushed the balance of the car forward. Because you also reacted wrongly with the front wing, the drivers did not recognize their car. “It oversteered like a rally car.” There were also problems with the DRS mechanism, which also required additional setup time.
In the race, the drivers had to slow down a bit because the cooling was still at the limit. There would be a larger selection, but that would cost a very large deficit. The strategists looked for their salvation in a two-step strategy to get Sebastian Vettel off the road. After all, it was enough for 11th place, but 15.9 seconds behind the last place in points. Team boss Mike Krack admitted: “We were too slow to get points.”
High and smooth instead of deep and hard
The B version of the car is so different from the base model that it starts a new season for Aston Martin. The idea is almost the opposite, explain the engineers. The aerodynamics of version A can only work in a low and hard configuration. Bouncing prevents you from entering this area at all. For model B, the shaking is over. And it wouldn’t do that much damage. “With the new car we can go higher and smoother. It’s a completely different aerodynamic platform,” explains Green.
That’s why the team is also hopeful for Monte Carlo. If you want to be fast there, you need to travel in suspension. And if you have to drive low and hard, you have a problem. “It would have been difficult for the A version. It would have worked with little clearance. And it wobbled so much on the bumps that the whole car wobbled,” admit the engineers.
However, Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll can not look completely free in the city style. “We have a serious shortage of spare parts. In Barcelona, any accident would mean that one of the drivers would have to switch to the A car. It is a little better for Monaco, but it is still not settled,” says the team. . Green, however, praises his production department: “The guys in the factory have done amazing things in the last few weeks. Sometimes we had 36-hour shifts.”
Excellent in all areas
With the next three races taking place on road circuits, engineers expect it will take some time before the AMR22B is fully understood. In the home game at Silverstone it should be sooner rather than later. Mike Krack shares his design department’s belief: “The new car is better than the old one in all areas. In slow, medium and fast corners.”
Secretly, Aston Martin was almost relieved that the B version failed in the first race. Otherwise Red Bull might have made more noise about the alleged data transfer. At Aston Martin, that’s the attitude. “The FIA inspectors are the only ones who have seen all the evidence that Red Bull and we had, so they are the only ones who can judge this case.”