Lawrence Stroll: Aston Martin not losing sight of 2022

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR21. 20.05.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo
© XPB 

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll insists that his team isn't losing sight of its 2022 objectives despite continuing to put efforts into improving this year's performance.

After a strong campaign last season, the current season got off to a difficult start with only five points from the first four races for drivers Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll.

But Monaco proved a better outing for the squad, with both drivers finishing n the points to boost them up to fifth place in the constructors standings

"It was very much on merit,” Stroll told this week. “A great weekend for both cars. Pace was there, strategy was there, a well-executed plan.

“We had a difficult start to the season," he acknowledged, blaming the FIA's latest changes to the sporting regulations for the initial poor results.

"We were dealt a bad hand with the rule changes cutting the floor, which really hurt the low-rake cars," he explained. "Us and Mercedes both lost close to a second a lap versus our competitors.

“Due to what everybody's quite aware of, the cut in the floor, that really hurt the low-rake cars. So obviously that's extremely frustrating.

"We've put that behind us," he insisted. "[But] it's disappointing when you put in all the hard work and cars are frozen from a homologation point of view, and then you get to the first race and realise they weren't really frozen from a homologation point of view."

Lawrence Stroll (CDN) Aston Martin F1 Team Investor on the grid. 09.05.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain

The team is currently working to recover some of that lost ground, and has already introduced updates to the floor of the AMR21 and reworked the side pods.

However Stroll admitted that there were limits to what the engineers could do at this point, while also working hard on the 2022 car.

"We're just working on clawing back as much as we can," he said. “I don't think we can get back to last year's performance.

"We would have to give up focus obviously on the ‘22 car. It’s a fine balance, but we'll fight right to the end."

"We've got a few more things to come. I don't know exactly how much, to be honest with you. We're certainly not finished bringing something to the car, but it clearly can't be too much longer."

Next year's rule changes constitute one of the biggest overhauls of the sport's technical specifications. With limits to time and budgets available, teams are having to prioritise their long term performance over this year's battle.

Stroll added that the team's struggles at the start of the season would not impact the company's wider plans to expand its supercar business.

"I don't think it took away from the rebranding and that excitement,” he stated. “That's been phenomenal, we see it through fan engagement."

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