Formula 1: Will Vettel’s car be slimmed down?

You are still the big unknown: Sebastian Vettel (34) and Aston Martin did not look at each other’s cards during the winter tests. In the end, Vettel was tenth and his teammate Lance Stroll was 16th. Although insiders assume an improvement in the green racer compared to last year, ex-driver Christian Danner blasphemed at Sport1: “Vettel is just as far from a win as a year ago.”

The fact is: Aston Martin is approaching the new season flexibly. The wide, heavily undercut sidepods that caused some pundits to frown might soon be a thing of the past.

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Technical Director Andy Green had already emphasized during the presentation: “We quickly realized that there were several possible solutions for the sidepods alone. We have designed the car in such a way that we do not find ourselves in a development dead end here. If we notice that we are wrong with a solution, we can react.” A B version of the Aston Martin was quickly in the room.

As part of the Bahrain tests, head of development Tom McCullough has now confirmed this: “We have developed the car in the wind tunnel, which visually doesn’t have much in common with today’s car. And I am convinced that we are not the only ones doing this.”

Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin should look completely different again in the wind tunnel.

McCullough also refers to his chief technology officer’s statement on the day of the unveiling: “Andy Green said that we didn’t want to go down a dead end. This now gives us the freedom to work on fresh solutions. My guess is that the cars will converge over the months, although not everyone will bring extreme solutions to the car like we’ve seen so far.”

Especially Mercedes has surprised in this respect with its almost non-existent side boxes. Aston Martin also admits that it was caught on the wrong foot: “We didn’t see such a blatant design as on the Mercedes coming,” says the head of development. “Even if we use the engine, transmission, hydraulics and rear suspension from Mercedes. Such information will not be shared. Like many fans, I discovered this extremely lean solution for the first time on social networks. It’s an extremely idiosyncratic arrangement of the cooling elements, I have to say.”

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Compared to the lean Mercedes, Vettel’s green racer looks almost fat. But a look at the different concepts on the starting grid shows that the regulations allow for different solutions in the area of ​​the sidepods. “Especially with this topic, we also considered many different approaches in the concept phase,” admits McCullough. “Now we look at the opponents’ solutions, just like the aerodynamicists of all teams do. We will see a lot of new things here and there over the coming months.”

The denial of a B version of the Aston Martin definitely sounds different.

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