Aston Martin team boss Otmar Szafnauer says he wants to discuss the situation over 2021’s aerodynamic regulations with the FIA amid his squad’s apparent loss of performance.
The FIA introduced revised regulations for 2021, targeted at reducing downforce levels, at the behest of tyre supplier Pirelli over safety concerns due to increased loads.
Aston Martin, along with champions Mercedes, employs a low-rake design concept, as opposed to the high-rake approach used by the majority of its opponents.
The outcome of low-fuel performance runs in Bahrain suggested that those with a high-rake design concept had, year-on-year, lost less performance compared to the low-rake runners.
It is understood that Aston Martin is unhappy that Pirelli introduced more robust tyres anyway, and also wants clarity on the manner in which the 2021 regulations were applied, having suggested Formula 1’s commercial rights holder Liberty Media pushed for the changes.
“I think the right thing to do is have the discussions with the FIA and find out exactly what happened and why,” Szafnauer told Sky Sports.
“Then see if there’s something that could be done to make it more equitable.
“We as a team have to work hard to try and claw back everything we can but at the same time, we should be having these discussions with the FIA to see if anything can be done to make it a bit more equitable.”
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner laughed off Szafnauer’s claims and suggested that he was being naïve in his approach.
“Firstly we had a sample of one that Mercedes won that race with what you would classify as a low rake car, with maybe equal if not better tyre degradation than what we had in Bahrain,” he said.
“They’ve looked mighty impressive here and we’ve only run at one circuit so far.
“But ignoring all of that, there is a process for regulations to be introduced and they were voted through unanimously through the different regulations that Aston Martin or Racing Point would have had to vote for before being passed through the FIA commission and the World Council and they were all voted through unanimously.
“Now when there was a front wing change a couple of years ago, it really hurt us. We voted against it but you just have to accept it.
“It would seem a little naïve to think that suddenly the rules are just going to get changed after the sample of a single race, after the process has been fully followed. I’m struggling to get my head around that.”