Low-rake F1 runners warned of rules impact last year

Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer says that Formula 1 teams following the low-rake route cautioned last year that they would lose out under the FIA's 2021 aero regulation changes.

Low-rake F1 runners warned of rules impact last year

Szafnauer has blamed the rule tweaks for the team's loss of competitiveness since the end of last season, when as Racing Point it was a regular podium challenger and took victory in the Sakhir GP.

Racing Point followed the Mercedes low-rake concept for its 2020 car and was committed to it for 2021 due to the chassis freeze and token system, which limited changes over the winter.

The FIA introduced a package of aero changes, notably involving the floor ahead of the rear wheels, in order to trim downforce levels for this season.

Szafnauer believes that the new rules disadvantaged the low-rake runners more than the teams that follow the high-rake concept.

Mercedes bounced back from a poor test to win last weekend's Bahrain GP, but the Brackley team has clearly lost any advantage it had over main rival Red Bull in 2020.

Aston Martin struggled for pace throughout, and could manage only a 10th place finish through Lance Stroll.

"I'm not a conspiracy theorist," said Szafnauer. "But it was pointed out last year by the low-rake runners, that this would have a bigger effect than on the high rake runners.

"And we were correct. At the time, the regulations were being made this was pointed out."

Read Also:

Szafnauer denied the suggestion that the teams had voted unanimously to support the regulation changes.

"No. Number one, there was never a vote. Number two, there was an indicative vote. So that was just at the technical under committee [working group], that all the technical directors had to have an indicative vote, and three teams voted against it.

"You've got to remember only two teams have a low-rake concept. So even one of the high-rake teams voted against it. So nowhere near unanimity. And it wouldn't have even passed on the eight out of 10 rule. Because three voted against."

Regarding the team's current form, he added: "In race conditions we were a bit more competitive than we were over one lap.

"But compared to where we were just a few months ago here, before the regulation change I mean, we've got a lot of a lot of work to do."

shares
comments

Related video

New Albert Park layout will be five seconds faster

Previous article

New Albert Park layout will be five seconds faster

Next article

Honda plans analysis on race engine form vs Mercedes

Honda plans analysis on race engine form vs Mercedes
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Aston Martin Racing
Author Adam Cooper
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory Prime

The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Imola 1994: Memories from Ayrton Senna’s F1 rivals Prime

Imola 1994: Memories from Ayrton Senna’s F1 rivals

The tragic events of the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix changed Formula 1 forever. Here, 17 of the drivers who took part explain how they coped with the devastating deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy Prime

The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021