If last year’s Racing Point car was dubbed the ‘pink Mercedes’ in Formula 1, then the Aston Martin team’s debut car will undoubtedly be dubbed the ‘green Racing Point’ this season.
Recall that most developments are “frozen” in F1 in 2021, which means that the AMR21 car, like its competitors, will be very similar to last year’s – except for new aerodynamic rules. .
At least that’s what Quebec driver Lance Stroll recalled on Wednesday, shortly before participating in the unveiling of the Aston Martin car entered in the 2021 F1 championship.
“Yes, all the teams are limited because of the regulations – we don’t have the right to change a lot of things on the car. We still worked on the aerodynamics at the rear of the car, and we made a few other small changes in the hope of improving it for 2021, ”said Stroll in a video conference.
That won’t prevent the main stakeholder from believing in his chances of propelling Aston Martin to third in the constructors’ championship – a goal that was missed by only a few points at Racing Point last year, fourth behind Mercedes, Red Bull and McLaren.
“Yes, absolutely. We got a big opportunity [de finir troisièmes] last year, but we were unlucky. Several things happened along the way; I think about the points that I missed during the second leg of the season. There is a lot of potential for this season, although it will be more or less the same car as last year, with a few changes. I think it will be like last year between the teams, even if an F1 season is always unpredictable. “
The car unveiling, streamed online from the new team’s factory at Silverstone, took place in the company of Stroll and new teammate Sebastian Vettel, owner Lawrence Stroll and team manager Otmar Szafnauer. Together, Stroll and Vettel raised a huge British flag that covered the AMR21 car.
“I have dreamed of this day for a very long time. I have always been a car enthusiast, and I have always loved motorsport. My first dream has always been to own an F1 team, and my second has been to acquire shares in Aston Martin. Today, it is the fusion of these two dreams. Today, the AMR21 car demonstrates that dreams can come true, ”said Lawrence Stroll.
Several stars participated in the unveiling of the car, including actor Daniel Craig, who notably personifies James Bond, and quarterback Tom Brady, champion of the last Super Bowl.
“The AMR21 car looks amazing, and very fast. Kudos Lawrence on the team you are building, because it all depends on the team, we all know that, Brady noted in a video post. I can’t wait to see what you will accomplish on the track, with two great riders such as Sebastian and Lance, so good luck, and kick some butt! “
The car swapped its candy pink color from last year, when the team was called Racing Point, for forest green. It will however retain a few touches of pink, in reference to one of the team’s main sponsors, BWT.
“It’s a very stylish, very British car,” said Vettel. Our objective will be to give everything to obtain the best possible results, to improve the image of the brand (in F1). “
Aston Martin will compete in the F1 championship for the first time in 61 years, that is, since the period of 1959-1960. It is therefore a return for the manufacturer in the premier series of motorsport, even though it has been one of the main sponsors of Red Bull in recent seasons.
Quebec billionaire Lawrence Stroll bought the Force India team in the summer of 2018, before renaming it Racing Point for the 2019 season. In the meantime, Stroll has acquired a 16.7% stake in Aston Martin in January 2020, and decided to rename the Aston Martin Racing team for the 2021 championship.
The first wheel strokes on Thursday
Stroll, who is 22, will start his fifth season in F1. The Mont-Tremblant rider has just had the best campaign of his career after taking the 11e step in the driver classification, even if he missed a race after receiving a positive diagnosis coronavirus.
For his part, Vettel, a quadruple world champion, will try to bounce back after having experienced a season below expectations last year with Ferrari. The German finished 13e in the drivers’ championship last year.
“It’s a very exciting project; a new start for me and the whole team. I’m really looking forward. It would be a little ambitious to say that we aspire to victory from the start, but that will eventually be the goal, ”said the former Ferrari driver.
Stroll and Vettel will give their wheel drives Thursday at Silverstone, in order to get a better idea of the potential of the AMR21 car.
“It will be very important to pass on what we learn about the car to the engineers, to help it progress. I have been in F1 for a while now, and I know that starting a new team, with a new teammate and new faces will not be without turbulence. I just hope that these will be of very short duration. I can’t wait to start the job on the track, ”said the German.
Stroll and Vettel will then take part in the Bahrain winter testing, March 12-14.
“We’re going to shoot a lot and see what set-up works best for the car to be competitive,” Stroll said of Aston Martin’s plans in Bahrain.
The F1 season will then get underway at the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28.
If all goes according to plan and COVID-19 does not take its toll, F1’s 2021 calendar must have 23 races – a peak in the history of the series.
The Canadian Grand Prix is scheduled to take place on June 9, 2021.