Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Spa-Francorchamps, 2022

Aston Martin expect upswing in form as F1 heads to high-downforce tracks

2022 F1 season

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Aston Martin expect the coming races on circuits which demand a high-downforce set-up will play to the strengths of their AMR22.

The team lacked pace at Monza, which demands the lowest downforce trim of any track, but were more competitive at Zandvoort a week earlier, where cars ran with steeper wings.

However misfortune compromised their Dutch Grand Prix weekend. Sebastian Vettel was eliminated early in qualifying after hitting a patch of dirt kicked up by his team mate on his final lap, while Lance Stroll reached Q3 but suffered a hydraulics problem before he could set a time.

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack expects Singapore, a track which demands maximum downforce levels, will offer an opportunity to restart the points run which was interrupted by their failure to score at Monza.

“I think we have a couple of races to come where the car will be more competitive,” he said. “You have seen in Zandvoort the potential to go into Q3 was there, Sebastian had obviously an issue in turn 13 that prevented him to move forward. At this point he was on the same lap time as Lance. So we had the potential and I think this is also encouraging for the races to come.”

Krack is hopeful Vettel, who won F1’s last race at Singapore three years ago, will have a chance of taking a good result with the team before he retires from the series in six races’ time.

“I think Singapore was always a track where he performed very well,” he said. “So we have high hopes that we’ll achieve something good with him from now to the end.”

The AMR22 generally performs better at tracks like Singapore, and the following venue Suzuka, which require more downforce, said Krack.

“For the races to come we are quite confident, especially after our Zandvoort weekend where also in qualifying we were performing. We will have further updates in Singapore, and Singapore is similar in downforce level as Zandvoort and Budapest, so we are quite confident that we will be a bit better there.”

The team couldn’t find a way around their inherent lack of performance at Monza, he admitted. “The way the car is, we knew that it was going to be very difficult,” he said.

“In practice we played around with wings: different wings, big wings, more wing. But we were always exchanging corner speed for straight-line speed without increasing the overall performance.

“At the end, we decided to go for the for the straight speed. But the car was very difficult in the race with a lot of sliding. The tyres suffered quite a lot and to be honest, we really we didn’t have the pace.”

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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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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4 comments on “Aston Martin expect upswing in form as F1 heads to high-downforce tracks”

  1. I hope next year Alonso quits the team as soon as he realizes the car is garbage and moves on.
    No ex-champion deserves to waste their career away driving around in such a poor car.

  2. Its a real shame.. because the team does have the resources now to actually be the strongest midfield team. It’s a double edged sword for the team since the Stroll’s have taken over. They got the resources in place.. but have one absolute rubbish driver in Lance, who is incapable of moving a team forward. And they have an even more rubbish team owner, who has no clue of how to run an F1 team.

    I don’t see Fernando staying here for more than a season either. If the car is rubbish he’s going to leave anyways, but more importantly, he’s going to thrash Stroll so badly that it will destroy his career and Papa Stroll will not like that situation much.

    1. I guess that shows you can be successful in a field while being bad at another, however they recently hired a lot of people, I would say to give them until 2026, when there’s the new regulations before writing them off, but indeed, stroll would never be a champion as I see it even if the car was competitive enough and I don’t think alonso can be competitive for many more years, age is a serious matter.

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