Aston Martin’s Formula 1 car is set for a significant update at the Spanish Grand Prix, with the first major development aimed at solving a chronic problem of porpoises.
The team has had a disappointing start to the 2022 season and is only six points ahead of Williams in the constructors’ championship from its first five races.
In addition to exceeding the maximum weight limit, the Aston Martin had to run at a higher altitude to mitigate the recoil problem that severely affected its original design, and which cost it downforce.
Team principal Mike Krake in Australia said the improvements expected to have a significant impact on the car’s performance should arrive in “two races” and are due to be in Spain next weekend.
These changes, including a new floor, should be visible although it’s unclear whether a redesign of a previously rumored sidepod, away from the wide pods with a major undercut, will be part of it.
Sebastian Vettel said in Miami: “We have a big deal coming up at Barcelona.
“We know it’s not a big step yet in terms of performance, so we’ll see.
“I look forward to the updates.”
A two-point finish at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix is the only result for Aston Martin this season, although Vettel looked to add a point or two to that in Miami before a late crash with Mick Schumacher.
Aston Martin was much more competitive in the US although its drivers didn’t really understand why because the car hadn’t changed from Imola – its first change being related to major floor issues.
In Imola, Aston Martin moved the outer stay surface forward to strengthen this section of the floor and reduce the deflection to reduce contact with the ground.
Stopping porpoise pits in its car and reducing the weight were a key development priority for Aston Martin early in the year.
But a third area has been identified related to vehicle feedback to drivers.
Vettel and teammate Lance Stroll particularly struggled in Australia, with Crack saying the car did not inspire confidence because they lacked feel through the steering.
He indicated some suspension changes were coming and the revisions were said to have been done in the US, which helped the drivers as well.
There will likely be a high rate of development led by Aston Martin Chief Technical Officer Andrew Green at the upcoming Grand Prix.
Crack previously noted that Aston Martin wants to provide “updates to every race” and is “a long way” from giving up on the 2022 car.
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