Horner: Aston Martin ‘a little naive’ to expect F1 aero rule tweaks

Christian Horner believes it is "a little naive" for Aston Martin to expect tweaks to Formula 1's aerodynamic rules to even out the impact on varying car concepts.

Horner: Aston Martin ‘a little naive’ to expect F1 aero rule tweaks

It emerged in Bahrain that teams running low-rake cars - such as Aston Martin and Mercedes - appeared to be hurt more by the updated aerodynamic rules for 2021 than those with high-rake concepts.

The FIA moved to cut downforce and reduce speeds for 2021 on safety grounds, with much of this cut being achieved by changes to the regulations surrounding floor designs.

Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer revealed on Friday at Imola that he was pushing the FIA to consider making tweaks this year "to make it a bit more equitable" between teams running high- and low-rake car concepts.

But Horner - whose Red Bull team races with a high-rake car concept - said he was "slightly surprised" to hear how strong Szafnauer's opposition was after just a single race.

"We had a sample of one, that Mercedes won that race with what we classify a low-rake car," Horner said on Sky Sports F1.

"They had absolutely equal, if not maybe better, tyre degradation than we had in Bahrain. They've looked mighty impressive here and we've only run at one circuit so far.

"But ignoring all of that, there is a process for regulations to be introduced and they were voted through unanimously through the different regulations.

"Aston Martin or Racing Point would have had to vote for before being passed through the Formula 1 Commission and the World Council. They were all voted through unanimously.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR21

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR21

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

"When there was a front wing change a few years ago it really hurt us. We voted against it, but you just have to accept it.

"It seems a little naive to think that suddenly the rules are going to get changed after the sample of a single race after the process has been fully followed.

"I'm struggling to get my head around that."

The fashion in which the aerodynamic cuts hit Mercedes and played toward Red Bull has created a closer fight at the front of the pack in the early part of the 2021 season.

Horner said that seeing the top teams get slowed down was "the nature of the game" in F1, and something that had to be accepted.

"Whether it was blown diffusers, double diffusers, flexing wings, non-flexing wings, F-ducts, front wing regulations as I mentioned just a couple of years ago - it's part of Formula 1," Horner said.

"Regulations evolve and change and you've got to swing with those punches and that is F1.

"We've got a big regulation change for next year, but the teams have known that. That's been part of the sport for many, many years."

shares
comments

Related video

Mercedes F1 drivers "a lot happier" with W12 car at Imola

Previous article

Mercedes F1 drivers "a lot happier" with W12 car at Imola

Next article

F1 Emilia Romagna GP qualifying - Start time, how to watch & more

F1 Emilia Romagna GP qualifying - Start time, how to watch & more
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing , Aston Martin Racing
Author Luke Smith
Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Plus

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to STUART CODLING, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion

Formula 1
May 15, 2021
Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row? Plus

Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row?

Aston Martin claims Formula 1’s latest technical tweaks have cost it competitiveness – and that it’s the innocent victim of a regulatory stitch-up aimed at pegging back Mercedes. But is any of this actually true? It depends on who you ask, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
May 14, 2021
How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But is their rivalry destined to end in broken shards of carbon fibre?

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021