Aston Martin’s 2022 F1 car slammed as a ‘disaster’ after Bahrain struggles

Aston Martin struggled at the opening round of the 2021 F1 season in Bahrain

<p>Aston Martin had one of the slowest cars in Bahrain. </p>

Aston Martin had one of the slowest cars in Bahrain.

Aston Martin’s new AMR22 car for the 2022 Formula 1 season is a “disaster”, according to ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher, who blames the team’s desire to change too much too quickly for what he believes is a drop towards the back of the grid.

While Ferrari and Red Bull competed for victory in Bahrain at the first race of the new F1 campaign on Sunday, Aston Martin were mired at the back of the field with the likes of Williams and McLaren, and never looked capable of challenging for points. In 2020, the team, then known as Racing Point, finished fourth in the constructors’ championship and took a win at the Bahrain circuit.

F1 has entered a new era of car design for 2022, with revamped regulations designed to all drivers to follow one another more closely and race harder. That means every team has created their machinery for this season entirely from scratch, and while some previous backmarker teams like Haas and Alfa Romeo appear to have nailed the transition, the first race suggests Aston Martin have dropped backwards.

“The car is, so we hear, a disaster,” former Williams driver Schumacher said on AvD Motor & Sport Magazin on German TV, according F1-Insider. “And on top of that, apparently the team owner is now also sitting in the meetings and voicing how things should be done. If that’s the case, it gets really, really complicated.”

Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll purchased the team in 2018, and upon combining it with the Aston Martin brand he also owns for the 2021 season, announced increased investment in infrastructure and said the team planned to compete for the championship within five years.

Schumacher spent the years between 2005 and 2007 driving in F1 for Toyota, the Japanese team who entered the series in 2002 with ambitious plans and big funds before withdrawing after eight seasons without winning a single race. Now the German worries the same problems with overambition may befall Aston Martin.

“The team have lost the thread,” he explained. “They wanted to achieve too much too quickly and that simply doesn’t work in Formula 1. You can’t just take a lot of people and a lot of money, put them in a pot, stir it briefly and then something good comes out. The team wanted to take a bulldozer approach and that didn’t work at Toyota.”

The second race of the 2022 F1 season takes place at Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, with Sebastian Vettel set to return for Aston Martin after being replaced by Nico Hulkenberg for the season opener due to a positive Covid-19 result.

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