The rebranded Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team has unveiled its 2021 F1 car, the AMR21 ahead of its return to the championship as a works effort after 60 years away from the sport.
Aston Martin is set to make its return to the sport this year after taking over the Silverstone-based Racing Point team. The British team’s 2021 F1 car, the AMR21 has broken cover today with the team holding an online launch presentation.
The new car will be powered by Mercedes engine again and features the company's iconic British racing green colours.
Aston Martin will field a revised driver line-up in 2021. While Lance Stroll has retained his seat for the upcoming season, Sergio Perez has been replaced by Sebastian Vettel. The four-time world champion left Ferrari after racing for six years with the fabled Italian outfit.
Speaking about his new team's chances, Vettel said: “Obviously it’s the whole team but you have Lawrence at the top. He’s very committed, very enthusiastic and working really hard - he’s not just supplying the needs to the team but very much engaged and pushing the team I believe in the right direction.
“I think it’s difficult to set a goal for this year. Obviously, the team fought for third last year in the constructors’ and that’s sort of the unofficial goal - or maybe official goal - for this year, but people are hungry to win.
„I think it’s the first shot with similar money to anyone else on the grid, probably a rare shot, so it won’t be easy to catch up in a breath but the ambition is definitely there to catch up, not just from Lawrence [Stroll] but from the whole team. So far I’m in and I’m happy to do everything I can to help,” the German concluded.
Vettel's new team mate Lance Stroll will enter his fifth season in 2021, his third with the Silverstone team. The Belgian-Canadian driver made his F1 debut with Williams in 2017. Stroll expects his team to carry over its excellent from the previous season.
“As a team, I think third in the constructors’ championship is a big goal,” said the Canadian. “We missed out on that last year, we came so close. I truly believe that we can accomplish that this year, if not more. That’s a big goal of the team.”
“From my side, pushing to finish top five in the championship, that would be a great achievement. I want to improve as a driver. Last year I scored a couple of podiums and got my first pole which was awesome. I really want to build on that.
Despite the technical controversy revolving around its car design, the Racing Point team completed a successful season in 2020 by finishing the year fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, The Silverstone-based outfit’s highlight was registered by Sergio Perez who took a sensational and opportunistic victory at the Sakhir Grand Prix, capitalizing on the misfortunes and mistakes of the Mercedes team.
The team also recorded three other podium finishes with Sergio Perez finishing second at the Turkish Grand Prix and Lance Stroll achieving a third-place finish at the Sakhir and the Italian Grands Prix. According to team principal and CEO Otmar Szafnauer, the upward curve could be carried over to the upcoming season.
“It’s a lot easier to say we’re going to be fighting and winning a world championship than actually do it,” he said.
“The two things that have to happen are one we need a good plan in order to start today and get to world championship contenders and then we’ve got to execute. We’re in the midst of that planning now and the execution will definitely take some time. People in Formula 1, in other teams have said you’ve got to give us 3-5 years to do so and we’re no different.
"For the last year we’ve planned a new factory with new infrastructure in a place to house all of us under one roof, to grow the team, and the implementation of that has just now begun at Silverstone and towards the end of 2022 we should be moving into a new factory.
“And within that factory we’re going to need state of the art tools that will help us design and develop a car that’s worthy of contending for a world championship,” said Szafnauer.
We’ve been dreaming of this day for so long we don’t want it to end. But this is just the beginning.— Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) March 3, 2021
Thank you for all the support today. Without you, there is no us. 💚 #IAMF1 #AMR21 pic.twitter.com/fn1ZxICNc5