Aston Martin returned to Formula 1 in 2021 after more than fifty years of absence in the premier class, following the takeover of Racing Point. In 2020, the Silverstone-based team made a strong impression by winning a race and finishing fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, just behind McLaren. All while having made the choice to copy the Mercedes of 2019 in large widths.
Sergio Perez thanked and gone to Red Bull, it is the quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel who joined Lance Stroll in the British team. The objective announced at the start of the season was to fight again for third place in the standings with a car very close to that of the previous season.
From the first races, the Aston Martins are very far from the top of the standings and the objectives are quickly revised downwards. Stroll and Vettel are struggling to get to Q3 and if the Canadian manages to score a few points in Bahrain and then in Imola, we are very far from the standards expected before the start of the season.
In difficulty during the first Grands Prix, Vettel shines in Monaco by finishing fifth and then takes advantage of the chaos at the end of the race in Baku to obtain a very good second place and Aston Martin’s first podium in F1. A welcome result because on a regular basis, the team is fighting for small points and at mid-season, it fights more with the Alpine and the AlphaTauri than with the McLarens and Ferraris, which race in another category.
Vettel got another podium on the track by finishing second in Hungary, but an insufficient fuel sample in his car saw him ultimately disqualified from the race. Stroll meanwhile was in the top 10 more consistently than his team-mate but didn’t sign any major performances in 2021, having to settle for a seventh place at Monza and a sixth in Qatar as the best results of the year.
Aston Martin was even further behind Alpine and AlphaTauri in the second half of the season and found itself isolated as the seventh force on the field. She even seemed to end the season on freewheels, probably focused on her 2022 single-seater.
After the convincing results of 2020, Aston Martin fell from high in 2021 and surely paid the price for its copy of the Mercedes of 2019, struggling to develop an aging concept. She still got a podium thanks to Vettel but may regret the trophy lost in Hungary which would have embellished a very dull record overall.
It goes without saying that the English team will try to do much better in 2022 to make people forget such a disappointing year. It should also be noted that Aston Martin confirmed at the start of the year the departure of Otmar Szafnauer, its now former team manager, perhaps a consequence of results below expectations. As for the drivers, Vettel and Stroll will always be there and if their personal record is not disastrous, Aston Martin will undoubtedly hope for more outbursts from them this year.
– 7th in the constructors’ championship with 77 points (4th as Racing Point with 195 points in 2020)
– Best race result: 2nd (1 victory in 2020)
– 1 podium (4 in 2020)
– Best qualification: 5th (1 pole in 2020)
– Qualifications report: 10 Q1, 22 Q2, 12 Q3