Aston Martin reveal major upgrade to car for Spanish Grand Prix

2022 Spanish Grand Prix

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Aston Martin has revealed a major upgrade for its AMR22 ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.

The team’s new design bears strong similarities to that of Red Bull’s RB18. The resemblance is most clearly apparent in Aston Martin’s revised sidepods, which are now steeply undercut.

Aston Martin have had a difficult start to 2022. The team were the first to present and run a genuine 2022 specification car, built to F1’s radically overhauled regulations.

The AMR22 appeared on February 10th, one day after Red Bull’s launch. However Red Bull only presented a show car at their first pre-season event. The real RB18 ran for the first time in a pre-season filming day at Silverstone a few days before testing began at Circuit de Catalunya. Once it appeared in public for the first time, the car’s distinctive sidepods were an immediate focus of attention.

Aston Martin, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022
Aston Martin’s original sidepod design
Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2022
Red Bull’s distinctive sidepod design

Aston Martin have encountered problems with porpoising and often struggled for pace, only reaching the final stage of qualifying twice in 10 attempts. However team principal Mike Krack said earlier this month the team expected to be “in better shape” once their new upgrade had been introduced.

Following the team’s takeover by Lawrence Stroll in 2018 it initially followed the design lead of its power unit supplier Mercedes. In 2020, when the team competed as Racing Point, its car was closely modelled on the world championship-winning Mercedes W10.

Rivals dubbed the Racing Point RP20 a ‘pink Mercedes’. The team was even fined and docked points after the FIA ruled it broke the sporting regulations while creating its Mercedes-influenced rear brake ducts.

Aston Martin AMR22 sidepod, Circuit de Catalunya, 2022
Aston Martin AMR22 sidepod, Circuit de Catalunya, 2022

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2022 Spanish Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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36 comments on “Aston Martin reveal major upgrade to car for Spanish Grand Prix”

  1. Looks like a really unsophisticated copy of the Red Bull.

    Which is kinda what we’ve come to expect from this team, and yet, it may still outperform the design they came up with on their own.

    1. The only unsophisticated part of this article is your comment. Red Bulls chief aero guy now works for Aston Martin. He reportedly was very influential in the current RB18 So he has had a lot of time to consider his original design concept and has come up with a few minor changes. So far from being an unsophisticated copy of the RB18 this is in fact version 2.0 which is in fact more sophisticated than the original. The fact that he now works for Aston Martin means that it is his design and not a copy at all. All Red Bull have done is prove that his original design concept works. I don’t understand why people like you think that it is clever to just spew hatred toward another group of people instead of admiring them for doing the best job that they can.

      1. I do think it might be less refined, since first of all they had less time to think this up at AM, but also, they had to (largely) work with the internals they already had, which clearly limits exactly what you can do.

        1. Dan Fallows has been thinking about and working on this design since 2020 so I can’t see that it is less refined than the original. This is the first iteration for Aston but that doesn’t mean that it’s not the latest of Dans thoughts. We shall see how it goes this weekend.

          1. Current Sidepods on the Red Bull are far from the version that they started with during testing this year. So Dan Fellows new design on the Aston Martin looks like it is heavily inspired on an iteration from when he was not working at RB anymore.
            Not sure how contracts work in F1. But commonly if you design something while on a payroll the design is property of the company that is paying you for your for doing your job.

        2. Dan fallows and Andrew alessi have been looking at this car and ground effect since 2018 ,allesi was head of concept at rb and looking into ground effect , both are now at Aston and are both fantastic at what they do . No doubt in my mind aston will soon be doing something special , was they’ve settled into their new facility they’ll be a team to watch

      2. MingTheMercyless
        19th May 2022, 23:35

        If it is an original AM design (which it obviously isn’t), why didn’t they start the season with it and wasted their budget on a backmarker special in the first place? Even if Fallows had any part in the ORIGINAL design since 2020, that ORIGINAL design’s intellectual property belongs to Red Bull.

        It’s a lidar copy (or did Fallows steal the CAD files as well?), do yourself the honour and admit that’s what it is. Denying what can be seen by all, comes across rather silly, just saying…hope the car performs well though;)

      3. Fallows started on april 2nd and the design and build time for parts is much more then 1.5 months for something this big, i doubt Fallows had a serious influence….

        That said, i bet he told AM to make photos of launch and start designing the same idea before he began, hence it may feel/look like a rough copy, once he started he will have started the refinement and soon it will be a version 2.0

      4. You could have easily done without the ad hominem.

      5. This is pretty on par with most of his comments on this site.

    2. Looks like the Sauber.

  2. I think it’s fairly obvious that Red Bull have the best design with the least porpoising issues at that, so I don’t think Aston Martin will be the only ones taking their cues from the Red Bull design this season and next.

    1. I wouldn’t say RB has the best design, but it seems they bounce the least.

      Ferrari has more porpoising than the RB. Yet Ferrari is every bit as fast, if not faster than the RB, but harder on it’s tires.

  3. Farewell LONG PODS. You were not long for this world.

  4. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    19th May 2022, 19:46

    So it’s the Green Red Bull this year? Does that mean it becomes the Silver Ferrari when Audio takes them over (alledgedly)?

    Oh well, better copy a good design than create your own garbage one I guess.

  5. Mr. Xerox, Head of Aero AMR

  6. Electroball76
    19th May 2022, 19:55

    Green Bull. It gives you things.

    1. lol – very good

    2. I thought Frogs? ok that would be silly and not so funny….

  7. Horner will be mad. Sidepods and floor look identical to the RB18

    1. @amg44 Probably more like flattered, and it is well known that copying happens and has for decades in F1 and will continue. Even at the start of this season several TP’s, commentators etc talked about the great divergence of takes that each team took regarding the new regs but that there will be a convergence of designs as time goes on.

  8. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    19th May 2022, 21:12

    I mean imitation is the most sincere form of flattery but this is kinda funny, and the second time this team has done it by openly duplicating another car’s design. They were punished for it the first time so I wonder if they will this time? Does make it funny when they complain about Haas while wheeling out the photocopier.

    1. @rocketpanda But they were punished for basically working too closely with MB, whereas they will not have been working with RBR on these sidepods…rather just going by high tech photography etc. Will be very interesting to see how it works for them given that RBR would have integrated their whole car front to rear with this shape sidepod in mind.

    2. Surely they won’t be punished this time around. The Pink Mercedes was way up the order out of the box.. turning the Aston Martin into the Green Bull should just just push them up from the back towards the midfield.

  9. This is why Racefans comments section is so well-regarded – all the best F1 aerodynamicists post here.

    1. I luv chicken
      20th May 2022, 1:55

      Excellent! I almost spit in my tea, when I read your comment

    2. You what mate, why do you have to be an aerodynamicist to post about whether you think this is a dodgy move or not? Looking at the most technical F1 forum I know, where people who run their own CFD simulations generally gather, the discussion is the same regarding the topic.

    3. I prefer faster, more streamlined comments 😀

    4. Luke S (@joeypropane)
      20th May 2022, 9:28

      It’s all dirty air coming out these guys mouths…

  10. How desperate Lawrence is?

  11. Everyone copies at some stage. Everyone copied the Lotus ground effect concept in the 70’s, everyone copied the Newey March 881 concept, everyone copied the Tyrrell raised nose concept, everyone copied the McLaren MP4/20 zero keel concept – it happens in F1 all the time. Even the ‘Pink Mercedes’ wasn’t too bad – the parts they were penalised over had only come off the shared parts list the year before, and they only got in trouble over them for not having used them the year before. Even Red Bull copied the Ferrari sidepod ideas a few years ago (2017 I think?). So this is no problem to me – it was bound to happen sooner or later. However I don’t believe this will suddenly put Vettel and Stroll into the top 6…

    1. @clay Exactly. And if it were so easy to copy another aero design then there wouldn’t have been periods of domination like Red Bull’s where the engines were almost at par. The fact that this looks like the Red Bull sidepods doesn’t mean much when the majority of the aerodynamics depend on other things like the floor and diffuser.

      Also, given how quickly they came out with this design its unlikely to have been copied via photographs to a large degree. This has probably been in the works for months before the season started. It’s not unlikely that different teams independently came up with similar looking solutions to the same set of regulations.

  12. So now Stroll can fight with Russell while Vettel can mess around with Hamilton and Bottas?

  13. Only Facts!
    20th May 2022, 9:26

    Pride is overrated. Just copy the thing!

    I wonder why they didn’t go Ferrari style… similar lap times…

  14. Apparently the FIA have spotted the similarities and are looking into it now – potentially an illegal transfer of IP.

    https://twitter.com/JennieGow/status/1527624144950636544

  15. The green Red Bull! :)

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