Aston Martin's radical F1 rear wing return dictated by cost cap

Aston Martin says the return of the radical rear wing solution it introduced at Formula 1’s Hungarian Grand Prix will be dictated by cost cap considerations. 

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR22

The Silverstone-based team raised some eyebrows at the Hungaroring earlier this month when it revealed an innovative interpretation of F1’s rear wing radius rules that allowed it to run with a more traditional endplate. 

The design was aimed at adding more downforce to the car, but there were suggestions that its concept went against the intention of the rules to do away with too much disturbed airflow at the back of the car. 

While the mixed weather conditions over the Hungary weekend meant the team did not get as much of an understanding of its potential as it would have liked, Aston Martin is looking to roll out the wing solution at other races later in the campaign. 

But although the design brings more downforce without compromising drag, Aston Martin is not sure it will be able to use it at all races. 

That is because the team is having to carefully balance its spending this year as it nudges close to the cost cap – so it may not be able to revamp all the different wings it has for variations in downforce levels. 

Aston Martin performance director Tom McCullough said: “The cost cap is the thing there.  

“We have a whole suite of wings, which we've already made. A lot of them we've used already through all the different efficiencies of the circuit, so to then go and remake those, it's just a bang for buck question.”  

Aston Martin AMR22 rear wing

Aston Martin AMR22 rear wing

Photo by: Uncredited

McCullough was clear that the new rear wing concept was not just for high downforce tracks, as it would work elsewhere as there was no compromises in terms of it adding drag to the car. 

“It is an efficiency gain,” he said. “It can be used to varying degrees on different wings, so it's just a cost cap thing for us.”  

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The impact of the cost cap has weighed heavy on teams this year when it has come to juggling the pace of developments. 

McCullough said his team was at a state now where good ideas in the windtunnel were now only likely to be introduced on the 2023 car, because it was too expensive to bring them to the current challenger. 

“We are in to the development of the 2023 car now,” he said. “If you think of it as larger bits, take as an example a wing, whether it's a front wing, or a nose, you could do a crash test, you could do a different philosophy, but that's a lot of money to do. You might as well wait.  

“You’ve got to see the bang for buck with what money you have got left. We left ourselves a development budget, but we've done a lot of development and changed the car a lot.” 

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