The approach differed from the previous launches we have seen so far this year, with Haas only releasing digital renders to unveil its 2022 livery, while on Wednesday Red Bull presented its RB18 using a show car based on the design revealed by F1 last season.
But on Thursday afternoon at its Gaydon base, Aston Martin took the covers off its actual design, having built the AMR22 ready to hit the track.
With all the secrecy surrounding F1’s new rules revolution and with teams reluctant to give away important details surrounding their interpretation of the regulations, why was Aston Martin happy to show off a genuine car?
“Because we’re an honest bunch and we’re not trying to deceive!” Aston Martin chief technical officer Andrew Green joked when asked why his team opted against a smoke and mirrors route.
“No, we had a car available and we didn’t want to do a livery launch, we’re beyond doing livery launches this year, we wanted to do the real thing. So that’s the answer to the question with regards to reality.
“I think we will see different approaches initially. I think there are lots of different ways of approaching the problem with the ’22 regulations and I think initially you’ll see a few variations, with some similar to a theme, but I don’t think it’ll be long before we all align as far as the big visual aspects of the car.”
The most visually striking element of the AMR22 is the sidepod design, which features an aggressive undercut. Green expects to see “several” different approaches from teams when it comes to the sidepod area.
Although Aston Martin appears to have taken a gamble with the route it has favoured, Green stressed it is an area that can be rectified during the season if it turned out to be an error.
“There are several routes as far as side pod design [goes],” he said. “We have explored one route, and I know that there are plenty of other routes available.
“One of the design requirements for the car was to give ourselves flexibility. I do not want us designing a car down a development cul-de-sac. I wanted us to be able to move, and research different areas, relatively freely in 2022.
“So the ability for us to change radiator layout and sidepods is on the table for us in 2022.”
Like in previous seasons, the Silverstone-based outfit has once again sourced its gearbox and rear suspension from Mercedes. The decision allows Aston Martin the freedom to focus its development on other areas of the car.
“The reason is effectively the rear end from Mercedes is that it comes in a nice, neat package – it is aligned,” Green explained.
“We have been through just buying a gearbox and putting our own suspension on it and the two fighting each other for too long. It seemed like the right thing to do is just to have the suspension on the gearbox that the gearbox has been designed for. It really was as simple as that.
“Trying to give ourselves as much freedom everywhere else. If we looked at the other areas…the front suspension is one where we could have gone front suspension. But then you are trying to align a chassis to a suspension system that you get late; we would have to wait for the suspension to be defined before we were able to define our own chassis.
“That just was not something that we could really consider, especially with the time frames and timescales that we have. We would then be looking at that we would have to define a chassis quicker than Mercedes. Because we would get the information later than them, we are not in the position to do that.”
Aston Martin will be the first team to run a 2022 car on track, with Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll both scheduled to get behind the wheel of the AMR22 for a shakedown filming day at Silverstone on Friday.
“We’re shaking down tomorrow and really what we wanted to do is shakedown as early as possible to check the systems out on the car and give us some time between shakedown and Barcelona test,” Green said.
“So that is the reason for shaking down tomorrow, so we have time to react. Hopefully we’ll have a good shakedown tomorrow and there’s nothing to react to.
“Because the car is absolutely brand new with no carry over at all, and pre-season testing is really short, and the second test is so close to the first race that it’s going to be almost impossible to react to, we thought it’s going to be good to get a shakedown in before the first test and give ourselves a gap between the shakedown and the first test to react to.
“That’s where we came to with the shakedown date, and it just made sense to launch the day before. We have the car, the car’s effectively ready, so that was the logic behind it.”