Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer has said he would “relish” the opportunity for his team to compete at the sharp end of the F1 grid and also join the “banter” between Toto Wolff and Christian Horner.
Meanwhile, the newly rebranded Aston Martin F1 Team have slipped down the pecking order this year relative to 2020, with Szafnauer blaming this on the regulation tweaks to the rear of the cars affecting low-rake cars more than their high-rake counterparts.
In a recent interview, Szafnauer said he would relish the chance to battle Mercedes and Red Bull, both on and off the track.
“I relish the opportunity,” he replied when asked by GP Fans if he has the energy to deal with a potential war of words with Horner and Wolff if Aston Martin emerge as a Championship contender next year.
“I wish we could be up there and if I had to have that banter, I relish that opportunity,” he reiterated.
Asked for his thoughts on this year’s Championship battle – both in the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Standings – the Aston Martin team boss said it is certainly more interesting for fans than the one-sided Championships of recent years.
“I think from a fan’s perspective, because I speak to fans often, they find the intrigue in not knowing who’s going to win the championship ultimately, not knowing week to week who’s going to win the battle, they find that entertaining,” Szafnauer said.
“When I talk to fans, because they ask me my opinion often and I ask them, yes, they tend to find it entertaining.
“I’m more of a purist. I like to think that we’re more boxing, but whatever, that’s me. Although I’m also a fan, I’m more of a professional within the sport than a fan,” he concluded.
Aston Martin are currently seventh in the Constructors’ Standings on 48 points.
Sebastian Vettel scored the newly rebranded team’s maiden podium in Baku, and the German thought he had picked up another podium last time out in Hungary.
However, despite finishing in P2, Vettel was ultimately disqualified due to his car having less than the required one-litre of fuel in its tank after the race.