Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack has revealed that the development of the AMR22 will be adversely affected by the crash-packed weekend suffered by Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll in Australia.
It was, in truth, one of the worst weekends Aston Martin have experienced since their days as Force India before the turn of the turbo-hybrid era at last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.
Vettel, returning having missed the opening two rounds of the season through COVID-19, had his running cut short during first practice by an engine failure, before both he and Stroll ripped the left front corners off their cars ahead of qualifying.
The crews did a remarkable job of getting both cars fixed, but Stroll then gave them even more work to do when he collided with Nicholas Latifi during qualifying, earning himself two penalty points in the process.
Vettel would then collide with the barrier during Sunday’s race while the Canadian put up a staunch fight in the midfield as he finished P12, culminating a miserable weekend for the Silverstone side.
Krack laments a tough few days at the office down under.
“We had a very difficult weekend because we had a lot of car damage,” he said.
“It started already on Friday, we had a small problem on the power unit, which we had to change.
“So we didn’t get so much time. And then obviously, the on-track incidents that were visible to everybody led to a lot of work.”
The German, who previously worked with a young Vettel in his BMW days, then confirmed suggestions that the damage incurred to both cars in Melbourne will have consequences for future development.
“I am quite sure you have counted the amount of incidents and the amount of wings and front suspensions that we have damaged,” he explained.
“So you can calculate quickly how many we will need to go to Imola, and actually yes, the question is correct.
“Will we have capacity to develop, or will we need to use our capacity for making spares? So these discussions are ongoing.”
The 50-year-old had been hoping for an improved performance having failed to score points in Bahrain and Jeddah, with Stroll saying during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix that he was “frightened” of the seemingly terribly handling of the car.
However, if there were any advancements made between Jeddah and Melbourne, they were massively inhibited by the amount of incidents the drivers were involved in.
“I think when we came here, we thought we will have been a little bit better than we have been before,” Krack conceded.
“But obviously we could not show it so much over the weekend, because then we had much more disruption than you can afford at the end of the day.
“So I think at the end of the race, we were still in the position where we hoped we could score, but then eventually it didn’t happen. Overall, a quite disappointing weekend, I have to say.
“So now we need to really collect all the bits that we have, as we are starting to run low on spares. So it’s something that we need to address.”
Aston Martin were bought by billionaire businessman Lawrence Stroll in 2018, with the Canadian then signing his son Lance to the team in 2019 having paid for his drive at Williams two years prior.
However, there are suggestions that, despite his extremely limited experience in motorsport, he has been intervening in the development of the car despite the expertise of Krack, CEO Martin Whitmarsh and chief technical officer Andy Green.
1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve has recently affirmed that his compatriot is “now finding out” that running an F1 team is not the same challenge as his fashion ventures.
The Silverstone team are now the only team yet to score a point in 2022, leaving doubt as to Stroll’s five-year plan to win a Formula 1 championship.