ADVERTISEMENT
otmar szafnauer

Szafnauer: Third place is the target for Aston Martin

otmar szafnauer

Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer has set third place in the constructors’ championship as the team’s primary objective in 2021.

The team formerly known as Racing Point finished fourth in the standings last season but were deducted 15 points following an investigation into the RP20, with opposing teams arguing that they had copied a Mercedes design illegally.

Had they not faced such a penalty they would have finished third and Szafnauer also highlighted some of the bad luck that drivers Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll experienced as a reason that they finished where they did.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Last year we did set our sights on third all season,” he told RTL. “Maybe McLaren can point to some bad luck they had, but I don’t think it was anywhere near the level we had.

“We should have been third. So this year it makes sense for us to focus on, and target, third place again.”

Asked whether the team had any chance of finishing any higher than third, Szagnauer added: “Well, let’s see how we go. Second would be great. If we can take the fight to Red Bull and Mercedes, that would be great too.

“The thing I liked the most about our drivers in the past is that they worked really well together and I expect Lance and Seb to do the same – be team-mates first and then competitors against each other second.

“They will learn from each other and that will drive the team forward.”

With Sebastian Vettel replacing the Red Bull-bound Sergio Perez, Szafnauer said that the team are confident they can get the four-time world champion operating at his very best.

“We operate differently here and treat our drivers differently than the places he has come from, he added.

“For sure, we will make racing fun for him again, which is what he wanted. I’m very confident we will get him to his best level he can be.

“I think he will prove to the world that in the right environment, with the right motivation and the fun in racing coming back, he will do a great job.”