Aston Martin has showcased its F1 challenger for the upcoming 2022 season. The AMR22 gives us the first physical look at a team’s interpretation of the new rules. Red Bull Racing did reveal the RB18, but the launch featured a show car with the new livery, while Haas released renders of its VF-22.
- AMR22 features new livery with lime detailing
- Pre-season testing starts on February 23
Aston Martin AMR22: what’s new?
The new rules are aimed at promoting closer racing and bring in F1’s biggest design revolution in decades. "The 2022 regulations are like no other that have gone before: a radical change of direction in both concept and application, probably the most significant change of chassis regulations ever implemented, with an incredibly small amount of carry-over from 2021 into 2022. As a direct result of that, the past winter has undoubtedly been the toughest we have ever had. But with new regulations come new challenges and new opportunities,” explained chief technical officer Andrew Green.
Green also admitted the Mercedes-powered AMR22 revealed is just the first iteration and will “evolve dramatically over the comings months as we run the cars for real.”
But it does look like this iteration will be quite close to car that will run at the beginning of testing later this month. It shows the first working example of DRS (Drag Reduction System) on an F1 2022 car and features a different sidepod design from what we’ve seen so far, and square inlets.
The livery has also been updated, with the team dropping its pink elements (now that former sponsor BWT is no longer a partner) in favour of new lime detailing. Of course, the car also carries prominent branding of new title sponsor Aramco.
Aston Martin keeping realistic expectations
This will be the team’s second season in F1 under the Aston Martin brand, and it will continue with drivers Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll. After managing to finish just seventh in the overall standings, Aston Martin will be hoping to gain some ground; after all, the team did spend majority of 2021 working on the AMR22.
Speaking at the launch event, Vettel suggested the team should have a stronger year, but is keeping realistic expectations. “Since there are so many novelties this year, it’s very difficult to [say] what to expect. So, to point out where we will be is impossible at this stage. But surely, we are on the climb, so we want to be better than last year,” he said.
"Last year, we had our difficulties and I think for many reasons we should be better off this year. But at the same time, there are so many new things, with new tyres, completely new cars, lots of new challenges. I hope the field will be closer together and that will give us more chance to race and race more at the front than we did last year.”
Performance director Tom McCullough added, “The new rules mean that everyone will be starting with a relatively clean sheet of paper. You have to suspect that those teams that have been winning recently will start as favourites, but if any team gets a handle on something vital before the rest, that could make a crucial difference.”
There have also been management changes at the team, with former BMW motorsport chief Mike Krack replacing Otmar Szafnauer as team principal. Ex-McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has also been hired as CEO. The AMR22 will make its on-track debut during a filming day at Silverstone on February 11, before pre-season testing kicks off at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on February 23.
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