Aston Martin boss Otmar Szafnauer says the newly-rebranded team are targeting a coveted third in the championship this season but are wary of their “formidable” rivals – as well as 2021’s “significant” car changes. After morphing from Racing Point into Aston Martin – marking the famous British car brand’s return to the F1 grid for the first time in 61 years – the team have lofty ambitions, particularly after signing four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel to partner Lance Stroll.
“It will be the target for us,” Szafnauer said. “But I don’t think it will be easy – we’ve got some formidable competitors there.”
“Ferrari, for sure, will work hard over the winter to do better than they did last year,” added Szafnauer. “McLaren get a new [Mercedes] power train, the same one that we have and I’m sure they did that for reasons of competitiveness. And there are some driver movements as well, so we’ll see how all that pans out. So there are some differences.”
“From a philosophy standpoint, running a low-rake car, that stays the same.” he continued. “[But there are] significant aerodynamic changes – and because of that we had to redevelop the whole thing. This is the first time that a carry-over car has had many of its parts new,” he stated. “Although the philosophy is carry-over, we will still have a lot of new parts on the car, a lot of aerodynamic development and even a new chassis for us as well. Although the car will be similar to last year, it’s predominantly new.”