Aston Martin have denied rumours that their 2022 car will not be ready in time for the pre-season test in Barcelona next month, amid reports that the team is not at all full of happy campers.
Formerly Racing Point, Aston Martin have undergone significant change since Vijay Mallya was ousted midway through 2018.
Businessman Lawrence Stroll purchased the Force India team that year, changing the name to Racing Point Force India for the remainder of the season.
The Canadian then signed his son, Lance, from Williams as they transitioned to Racing Point before eventually becoming Aston Martin at the end of 2020 following their maiden win with Sergio Perez at the Sakhir Grand Prix.
Due to the overhaul in recent years, their number of employees has reportedly increased exponentially, and therein lies one of their issues.
There is a feeling of “deepening resentment” at the Silverstone factory following the departure of former team principal Otmar Szaufner, who was instrumental in bringing four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel to the team for 2021 to replace Perez, according to TheJudge13 – an F1 news blog.
The Romanian-American has been replaced by Mike Krack.
Reportedly, what was once a “modest, but efficient workforce” has now descended into chaos.
TheJudge13 describes the team as a “far larger entity of what appears to be ‘headless chickens’”.
The supposed unrest at Aston Martin is said to be so bad that it will be a miracle if they are able to roll the car out of the garage for the first test of the pre-season on 23 February in Barcelona.
“[Aston Martin are] miles behind, to the point if it makes first test at Barcelona on Feb 23rd everyone will be so surprised you’ll hear the cheer from outer space,” suggests the report.
The British team have, however, robustly denied these rumours, insisting that everything is running smoothly.
“Work on our 2022 vehicle is making good progress and we will be ready for the first winter test in Barcelona,” a spokesperson told Speedweek.
“Work on our 2022 vehicle is making good progress and we will be ready for the first winter test in Barcelona.”
The Racing Point car was labelled a “pink Mercedes” in 2020 when it had become apparent that they essentially designed a replica of the Mercedes car.
Technical director Andy Green is optimistic that this will pay off in the long run, even though Aston Martin slumped to seventh in the Constructors’ Standings last year.
“It definitely opened our eyes to new ways of working – new concepts, new ideas,” he said in conversation with The Race.
“And it has enabled that thinking then to follow through to some degree on the 21’ car but the 2022 car definitely.”
He went on to detail the research and collection of data that will prove vital to the Silverstone outfit’s success going forward.
“What we did was look at the car and went about working out why that car was significantly quicker than everybody else,” he explained.
“We did our own learning. There’s no shortcut to doing it. It’s not a copy, it’s developing a solution where you’ve got a rough idea of what you think the answer is, but you’ve still got to get there and it takes a lot of development and a lot of work to understand.”
After a podium finish through Vettel in Azerbaijan and 16 points finishes between himself and Stroll in 2021, the pair have been retained for the 2022 season that gets underway on 20 March, a week after the second and final test in Bahrain.