With surprising solutions, the new Aston Martin shows where the journey will take us in 2022. The cars will be more different than expected. But who has the right solution? We spoke to Technology Director Andy Green and show you the most interesting details on the Vettel racer.
After the computer animation by Haas and the Red Bull show car, the first real 2022 car is now on the wheels. The Aston Martin AMR22 gives us a real taste of what's to come with the new cars. We breathe twice. First: Sebastian Vettel's new company car looks like a Formula 1 car. Because of "IndyCar Deluxe". And the 2022 vehicle generation will produce different solutions. At least at the beginning.
Just one day after the presentation, England's luxury brand took to the track with its green and yellow racer. Technology chief Andy Green doesn't think much of his competitors' game of hide-and-seek. "We wanted to cover the first few kilometers as early as possible. This gives us time to react to problems before the test drives. The time span until the first race is too short for you to do everything to the last minute with a completely new car puts."
If we compare the Aston Martin and the Haas, we can even speak of two different concepts. While Haas follows the old Red Bull line with the side boxes and the engine cover, where after a short bulge at the beginning everything tapers backwards and slopes downwards from top to bottom, the side parts of the AMR22 are separated from the engine cover with a step. In return, the undercut of the sidepods is more pronounced. From a bird's eye view, the rear of the Aston Martin is much wider than its competitor.
Riddles about the cooling inlet
A lot of differences can be seen in the details. The Aston Martin's four front wing elements are completely different in shape, dimension and profile than the Haas VF-22. The chassis tube has a slight dent in the area of the front axle. The wishbones and the pushrod of the front axle show that there is still enough room for wing profiles. Because of uniformity. The skids on the underbody and the entrances to the tunnels under the car are completely detailed. In its individual forms, this is almost reminiscent of the earlier baffles.
The cooling intake of the Aston Martin took the guesswork out. As with Haas, it is very close to the cockpit and is almost square. There is also an oval-shaped carbon surface that looks like a cover plate to a second opening. Whether there is something hidden behind it or whether it was only designed that way for visual reasons, you will probably only find out during the test drives. The fact is that Aston Martin starts its sidepods a little further forward than Haas relative to the front edge of the cockpit.
The cooling fins in the fairing on the side panels will be standard. Each team will arrange them individually. On the AMR22, we counted 15 gills per side, allowing the hot cooling air to escape. Haas omitted this detail in his computer animation. We can reassure you: The Haas VF-22 also has these exhaust slots.
The Aston Martin's airbox is still round, divided into three channels. Further down there are two dents that the voluminous plenum of the Mercedes V6 turbo imposes on the engineers. The opening on the Haas is triangular. The two teams also go their own way with the diffuser and the rear wing. The main blade of the Aston Martin is significantly more curved. But we at Haas are still waiting for an evolution. The model shown did not even have DRS.
Under the engine cover, Vettel's new company car uses many foreign parts again. The engine, gearbox and rear suspension come from Mercedes. "It makes no sense to break up this bond. Buying these components saves us time that we can use for other areas of the car," explains Green.
Aston Martin can react quickly
Andy Green talks about the biggest regulatory reform he has ever seen. He should know, because the 56-year-old Englishman has been in Formula 1 since 1990. The rulers wanted to pack three goals into one concept. A completely different vehicle generation had to come out of it. The 2022 cars should be simpler, cheaper and more drivable in traffic. According to the latest measurements, the following car at a distance of 20 meters or less should only lose four instead of the previous 35 percent downforce.
The restart was a challenge for the production department at the Silverstone factory. Production boss Simon Cayzer reveals that only 10 percent of the previous car was carried over. It was only possible to start manufacturing the first components of the AMR21 in September 2021. "Our development was mostly virtual because we didn't have track data," Green interjects. "That was also a new experience. Nobody already has all the answers for these new regulations. I expect an extremely steep development curve."
That's why the design office designed the concept of the car to be as flexible as possible: "In theory, there are many ways to get there," explains Green. "We designed the concept so that we can react quickly. For example, we installed the radiators in such a way that we can change the shape of the side boxes at any time. I expect that the cars will converge faster than usual in terms of design."
For the first time, teams like Aston Martin are on a par with the big players: "Under the cost cap, we can bring as many upgrades as the top teams. They are only ahead of us with their tools."
Driving like in a go-kart
The return to the ground effect principle presented the designers with new challenges. "The flow pattern is completely different than it used to be," affirms Green. Because ground effect cars work best when they are like this drive as low as possible, new paths must also be taken in the vehicle set-up."The cars will probably have pretty hard suspension. That will remind the drivers of their karting days," Green estimates.
It's the sum of the new elements that gave the designers the biggest headache. Aerodynamics, chassis, tires, engine: no stone was left unturned. The one outstanding There is no challenge. "With so many changes and limited resources, you have to weigh up which area gives you the most value," says Green.
The aspect of the new 18" tires is often underestimated. "You are one huge unknowns, even if we were able to test them last year. But nobody has ever driven a ground effect car with these tires. We'll only learn how these tires react on the track."
The Aston Martin technical director expects that overtaking will become easier and that after a while you can do without DRS. This season, the folding wing will be another important component "But once the field has moved closer together, you might be able to do without it in the future."
Sebastian Vettel already sensed in the simulator that the cars will feel different. But the ex-world champion didn't want to go into detail just yet. "The tires cannot yet be realistically simulated. We drove too little with them for that. Only on the racetrack will we see how we have to attack the corners to be fast. It is therefore relatively pointless to make forecasts. It's as if you had to eat something you've never eaten before and say how it tastes."
In the gallery we show you the most interesting technical details of the Aston Martin AMR22 again.