After ending fourth in final 12 months’s constructors’ championship beneath its earlier Racing Level guise, Aston Martin set its sights on main the midfield groups this 12 months with third within the standings.
However the downforce cuts on the 2021 automobiles appeared to hit Aston Martin the toughest, inflicting the group’s kind to hunch in comparison with midfield rivals McLaren, Ferrari, Alpine and AlphaTauri.
The group has scored simply 5 factors within the opening 4 races of the 12 months – all courtesy of Lance Stroll – leaving it seventh within the standings and forward solely of the point-less trio of Alfa Romeo, Williams and Haas.
Szafnauer mentioned forward of this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix that third now out of attain for Aston Martin, however hoped it may get well to a top-five end.
“Sadly I feel P3 might be a step too far,” Szafnauer mentioned. “We are going to battle laborious within the midfield to see how excessive we will go. However yeah, we’d wish to be within the prime half by the top of the 12 months.”
The Aston Martin title returned to the grid for the primary time in 61 years after Racing Level group proprietor Lawrence Stroll invested within the British automobile model, laying the foundations for his ambition to show the squad right into a championship winner.
Szafnauer didn’t really feel there was any further strain coming from Stroll or the opposite shareholders due to the group’s 2021 struggles, saying the entire group was life like of its present place.
“None of us are proud of the scenario we’re in,” Szafnauer mentioned.
“We’ve acquired to be life like as to what we will do with a frozen automobile, a frozen rake and rules which might be considerably altering for 2022.
“So, we simply must be life like to grasp the scenario we’re in, and do the most effective we will with the automobile and the instruments that we have now.
“For positive there’s all the time strain if you’re not attaining the place you thought you had been going to realize. However like I mentioned, all of us must be life like and do what we will, with out compromising the 2022 programme.”
Requested by Motorsport.com if the tough begin to the 12 months had allowed Aston Martin to modify extra of its assets to 2022 sooner than anticipated, Szafnauer mentioned it had not modified its unique plans.
“Probably not, we had a plan that we haven’t deviated from,” Szafnauer mentioned.
“However that was a plan set final 12 months as to how far into this season we’re going to develop this 12 months’s automobile. We’re nonetheless on the right track.”