F1 Car Reveals 2021: Aston Martin AMR21 – What’s changed from the RP20?
The newly-rebranded Aston Martin F1 team has launched its new car today during a launch featuring their new driver, Sebastian Vettel alongside shoe in Lance Stroll. The virtual launch also contained appearances from Bond movie stars Daniel Craig and host Gemma Arteton.
The new car premiered in a predominantly British racing green livery, with flashes of a rather red looking pink, owing to the BWT sponsorship on the car this year.
Aston Martin chose not to use their more contemporary WEC-style livery used on the Vantage GTE car. They instead harked back to a more traditional look, evoking the DBR1, DBR4 and DBR5 racers of the 1950s.
Starting at the front of the car, Aston Martin seems to have produced a more loaded outboard design to the front wing, while using much the same geometry as the inboard section used in 2020.
This follows on from developments from last year where the outboard load became more pronounced over the season. The nose tip is as domed as before, though potentially with a bigger ‘pinch’ where the cape meets the nose.
This will promote airflow over the cape, increasing the pressure differential and increasing the vortex strength generated by the edge of the cape.
Further back, the suspension and highly controversial brake ducts look unchanged, even down to the mounting locations of the wishbones and pushrods.
This angle reveals the reversion to the low crash structure used in 2019 before the much maligned switch to the W10 style sidepods. Another highly visible change is the removal of the large thermal camera pods flanking the roll hoop.
Looking at the profile of the car, it is clear that Aston has also included the large power bulge of the W12, of course owing to the same engine powering these cars. Moving back towards the front the small chassis fins providing downwash on the RP20 are gone, and the pitot tube arrangement has been augmented above the front tyres.
The bargeboards are highly similar to the RP20, though the louvre style turning vanes on the outer edge look to have gained a small twist further back. This is then coupled with a cut down turning vane hanging from the side impact structure, no longer connected to the floor and much further down from the sidepod edge winglet.
At the rear of the car, the rear wing looks identical to that run in the UAE, though that isn’t to say the team hasn’t been busy on the rear.
Starting with the floor, the Silverstone-based team have followed suit in what can only be imagined to be a trend this year. Trailing from the bargeboard structure is a suspended length of carbon attached parallel to the floor. This then falls downwards as the edge dog-legs towards the centre of the car. This is flanked by a set of three small, vertical fins, then followed by another set just before the rear tyre. These have been moved in comparison to the RP20, but serve the same purpose, generating outwash and a floor edge vortex to maintain consistent airflow to the rear of the car.
Attached to the gearbox casing is Mercedes 2020 rear suspension, unchanged by the Silver Arrows for 2021. This has also come with a small perk in that there is no token spend to acquire the change in design as there would be had the team developed the new configuration in-house. It also comes at the benefit of aerodynamics, increasing the quantity of high energy air passing over the diffuser, improving its efficiency. This comes at a weight penalty as Mercedes’ switch did, due to the higher loads on the lower wishbone in this placement, but could increase downforce significantly.
Aston Martin’s new owners will be hoping these changes can propel their car to the place it should have occupied in 2020, as the third fastest car on the grid. This will only become apparent when the season is underway, but if the size of the changes are anything to go by, it could be a very successful season.