Vettel to get new Aston Martin F1 upgrades at Spanish GP

The upgrade package trialled by Aston Martin Formula 1 driver Lance Stroll in Portugal will also be run by his teammate Sebastian Vettel in the Spanish GP this weekend.

Vettel to get new Aston Martin F1 upgrades at Spanish GP

The Silverstone team gave the latest set of new parts to Stroll first as it tries to accelerate the development of the difficult AMR21.

After an encouraging qualifying session, Vettel had a frustrating Sunday in Portugal. He made Q3 for the first time since the British GP last year, eventually taking 10th on the grid, while Stroll had issues in Q1 and started 17th.

However, the German couldn't maintain that form in the race, slipping down to 13th, and finishing a place ahead of Stroll.

"I have a couple of bits coming for next weekend," said Vettel.

"And hopefully we can be a bit more competitive. A clean Saturday obviously will be the key to have a better Sunday. But I hope that in the race trim, we have a bit more pace to put more pressure.

"It seemed obviously that we did not have the pace like the AlphaTauris, and especially the Alpines. So yeah, we need to have a look. But ultimately, we were not quick enough."

Asked if the new parts had performed as expected on Stroll's car, he said: "I think so, obviously I haven't felt them. I don't know. But I hope that it's going to be a better weekend.

"This weekend we also fought a little bit with set-up so I hope for a more straightforward weekend the next one, and better pace, especially Sunday afternoon."

Vettel said the team made the right call in giving the new parts to Stroll initially.

"Obviously he felt a lot more comfortable straight away with the car compared to me. We're still learning about the car.

"I think obviously it's going to be a long season, but these couple of races now are very crucial to get on top of it. We're still changing a lot of things one session to another to explore the limits."

Analysing the latest Aston Martin developments

By Matt Somerfield and Giorgio Piola

The upgrade revolves around the floor and diffuser, the area where the team feels it has lost out most this season thanks to the new aero rules.

At the front of the floor, the team has optimised the design of its 'wavy' floor, with an extra wave section added ahead of the main floor scroll section.

This smaller wave (red arrow) appears to have taken some of the real estate away from the main floor scroll. However, it should help deliver the required effect further upstream, resulting in a net gain.

Aston Martin Racing AMR21 floor fins

Aston Martin Racing AMR21 floor fins

Photo by: Uncredited

The introduction of this more complex wavy floor follows the development behaviour of Mercedes, who are the other team currently using this design methodology to extract performance from the front corner of the floor.

With teams no longer having the ability to place slots and fully enclosed holes in this region of the floor, it has forced a rethink of the airflow's behaviour, and these waves appear to allow the high pressure flow from on top of the floor to engage with the low pressure beneath the floor in a similar way.

When the car is turning, it also acts like a small diffuser to insert more downforce into the equation.

Aston Martin Racing AMR21 floor fins

Aston Martin Racing AMR21 floor fins

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin has also made changes at the rear of the floor too, as an extra vane arches over ahead of the rear tyre (red arrow).

This will have an impact on how the airflow is turned across the rear tyre and into the channel beside it.

These fins, strakes and vanes on the floor are critical in altering the flow in this channel as they can reduce the turbulent flow off the rear tyre which, if not managed, is ingested by the diffuser and reduces downforce.

In line with this, the team has also made a change to the shape of the diffuser ramp (circled).

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR21

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR21

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

The team ran flow-vis paint on the underside of the diffuser during some of its runs on Friday to get visual confirmation that the upgrades are operating as expected and the work being done back at the factory is on track.

The new tyre construction and lower minimum tyre pressures that have been introduced by Pirelli for 2021 has also been a headache for the teams, as it requires them to optimise the performance of the car around new parameters.

This has not only had an impact on how the tyre is brought into the temperature window but also the performance of the car front-to-rear, with the front tyre a little less responsive and requiring the driver to work them harder this season.

As a response to these challenges, Aston Martin opted for an asymmetric brake duct design last weekend, with the left-hand side of the car having the outer blanking plate on the drum removed, whilst the right-hand side has a groupings of teardrop shaped outlets near the inner shoulder.

These different designs tailor the position and quantity of heat radiated from the brakes into the wheel rim and consequently raises the core temperature of the tyre.

The changes that Aston Martin made on Stroll's car come hot on the heels of a dramatic upgrade the team made at Imola.

The AMR21's sidepods were the focus on this occasion, with the team not only shrinking the size of the inlet but also revising the downwash-style bodywork to improve the flow over the rear of the car. 

 

shares
comments
Haas to improve radio communication after Mazepin/Perez near-miss

Previous article

Haas to improve radio communication after Mazepin/Perez near-miss

Next article

Ferrari wants clarity on F1 financial rules penalties

Ferrari wants clarity on F1 financial rules penalties
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Spanish GP
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Teams Aston Martin Racing
Author Adam Cooper
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…

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
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Formula 1
May 7, 2021