Aston Martin chief technical officer Andrew Green has aimed a sly jibe at Red Bull after their car launch ahead of the 2022 season.
Dr Helmut Marko had already indicated to fans that the car Max Verstappen will be using in a bid to defend his title will not look quite like the one that would be unveiled in February.
Due to the vast upheaval in technical regulations in 2022, the Austrian revealed that “everyone wants to be finished as late as possible” to keep their cards close to their chest.
This rendered Red Bull’s launch essentially a livery reveal, which Dr Marko maintained was “important for the fans and sponsors,” and the car appeared a stripped back version of what Verstappen and Sergio Perez will be driving in 2022.
Team principal Christian Horner is expecting the car to progress rapidly as the developmental battle on the ground effect-led aerodynamics ensues.
“Because it’s new regulations, it’s going to evolve very, very quickly,” he said during the launch.
“I think by the time we get to the first race, the car’s not going to look very much like this and I think the evolution will be very, very quick as we progress through the season.”
Aston Martin revealed their challenger a day later at their factory in Silverstone, and they displayed what looked a fairly comprehensive race car.
Green fired a shot at Red Bull by insisting that his team did not hide anything from fans when revealing their challenger.
“Because we’re an honest bunch, we’re not trying to deceive,” he said at the British team’s presentation.
“We had a car available. We didn’t want to do a livery launch, we’re beyond doing livery launches this year – we wanted to do the real thing.”
Aston Martin then rolled their cars out onto the British Grand Prix circuit in Silverstone, with Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel completing a “shakedown” of the new machine.
Green explained that they wanted to gather as much information as possible on the brand-new car.
“We’re shaking down tomorrow and really what we wanted to do was shakedown as early as possible, to check the systems out on the car and give us some time between shakedown and [the] Barcelona test,” he added.
Mercedes High Performance Powertrains [HPP] boss Hywel Thomas has suggested that his division will likely need to make slight alterations to the engines after the first pre-season shakedown in Barcelona.
Mercedes will supply engines to Aston Martin until at least the end of 2025, and Green is also aware that there may be proclivities that his team must tend to, but they are prepared for such an eventuality.
“We have time to react – hopefully when we shakedown tomorrow there’s nothing to react to,” added the 56-year-old.
“Because the car is absolutely brand new with no carry-over at all [from 2021], and pre-season testing is really short, and the second test is so close to the first race, that it’s going to be almost impossible to react to.”
“It just made sense to launch the day before. The car’s effectively ready, so that was the logic behind it.”
Aston Martin will continue to line up with Vettel and Stroll behind the wheel of their car in 2022, and will hope to improve on their disappointing seventh-placed Constructors’ Championship finish last season.