The first, striking thing everyone noticed when the cars were rolled into the pit lane on Thursday in Spain was the all-new Aston Martin sidepods installed onto the car.
The Silverstone side have endured a difficult start to the season in the opening five rounds of the year, and Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll have scored just six points between them.
Stroll partnered Nico Hulkenberg in the opening two rounds of the year, after which the German affirmed that he is “keen,” but “not desperate” to return in his reserve role for the team that he took up after he left Renault at the end of 2019.
A woeful weekend would await Vettel upon his return to action having recovered from COVID-19, and he crashed twice along with the Canadian, saying after his race-ending collision with the barrier that “there are too many things” wrong with the AMR22.
Their pace looked better in Imola as they both got into the top 10, and the four-time champion appeared set for a P9 in Miami before his crash with Mick Schumacher, but his 23-year-old team-mate picked up the pieces by finishing 10th.
A B-spec car has been developed ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, and the sidepods looked peculiarly similar to those of Red Bull, who have won three races through Max Verstappen in 2022.
The move comes after Vettel was seen taking a good, long look at the underside of the Red Bull in Bologna, living up to his “Inspector Seb” nickname.
The change also coincides with the arrival of Dan Fallows, who is technical director at Aston Martin having spent 16 years at the Milton Keynes base.
His move was a controversial one as the Austrian outfit did their best to keep him from going to a rival team, even going to court to prevent his current employment, but his transfer was eventually completed.
Having been absent from Red Bull for over a year, the Briton will surely, through experience if nothing else, have had a big impact on the upgrades that can now be seen on the Aston Martin car, but they will not stop there, as team principal Mike Krack has promised that there will be evolutions at “every race.”
As for whom will be the recipient of the upgrade, the consensus was that Stroll would be the only one getting the new car, but Turkish journalist Kemal Sengul reported that it might well be both.
“Sources close to the team say that unless there is a big surprise – contrary to what is claimed – the update will not come to one vehicle, but to both vehicles,” he tweeted.
The British side’s car has been labelled on social media as the “Green Red Bull,” but can the upgrades help them in their pursuit to be the best of the midfield runners? All will be discovered in Spain this weekend.