Aston hopes French GP result silences F1 cheating accusations

Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer hopes that the French GP will put a stop to suggestions that the Silverstone outfit was not following Pirelli's Formula 1 tyre prescriptions.

Aston hopes French GP result silences F1 cheating accusations

Following the failures for Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen in Baku Aston Martin and Red Bull were at the centre of the controversy over teams allegedly running below the mandated minimum pressures.

The FIA and Pirelli subsequently brought in stricter tyre operating procedures for the Paul Ricard weekend, along with higher rear minimum pressures.

In the race, Sebastian Vettel and Stroll both ran very long opening stints on the hard tyre, finishing ninth and 10th, the Canadian having worked his way up from 19th on the grid.

Szafnauer says that the way the team avoided the worst of the tyre issues suffered by its rivals in France answered those who have suggested that Aston Martin had previously been running outside the rules.

"It's frustrating," he said. "Especially when you know exactly what you're doing, and you're well within the rules, for other people who don't know what you're doing to accuse you.

"Hopefully that will silence them, but I can tell you that we've never done anything untoward. We've always followed both the FIA and the Pirelli prescriptions, and will continue to do so."

Read Also:

Long opening stints from lowly grid positions worked for the team in earlier races, and Szafnauer agreed that its tyre management skills had simply been transferred to the higher starting pressures.

"Well, we can make it work," he added. "And as you saw, the tyre technical directive came out, we had to change our ways of working, and it didn't have an impact on our strategy whatsoever, which just kind of tells you that we were following the prescription anyway.

"You just have to know what you're doing. And we still work within all the parameters. It's just if you're a little bit clever on how to use the tyre, that's what happens. You have to look at some of the other teams that went backwards because of the technical directive.

"From where we qualified I think we did pretty well to get both of them in the points, which is what I was hoping for. Maybe Seb could have been a little bit higher up because it was very tight at the end. But we'll take that, re-group, and qualify better at the next one and race better."

The team is still bringing updates to the car, and Szafnauer is hoping that the next package can be fast-tracked for next weekend's Styrian GP.

He said: "There's some new bits here and there, some new bits coming in Austria, hopefully the first race. I have to see how quickly we can get them done. They're meant to be for the second Austria race, which will probably still be the case."

shares
comments

Related video

The IndyCar feature that Paul Ricard desperately needs in F1

Previous article

The IndyCar feature that Paul Ricard desperately needs in F1

Next article

Mercedes F1 can still stop Red Bull if "we perform at our best"

Mercedes F1 can still stop Red Bull if "we perform at our best"
Load comments
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021