In January, this website published some articles about the alledged crisis situation at Aston Martin. A trusted source from within the team presented evidence that all is not well at the Silverstone-based squad, and we duly wrote on the subject. And now there appears to be some weight to this rumour after a terrible outing in Bahrain, this time from the German press.
Aston Martin workers have contacted TJ13 and voiced concerns about how the team is run, and an alledged ‘bully’ culture has developed there with large sums of money thrown at problems. A far cry from the ‘family run team’ our source described to us in January. Fortunately for the team, the prediction that the car wouldn’t be running for the first test proved unfounded, but it does now appear that Aston’s AMR22 is seriously overweight and is lacking in downforce, with the added complication of porpoising thrown into the mix (rocking front to rear at high speed).
Now we hear of these problems via the German press with former F1 driver turned pundit Ralf Schumacher hearing from his sources in the team members refer to the new green car as a “disaster”, and thinks the problem may be the billionaire owner Lawrence Stroll.
“I hear that the team owner is sitting in on all the meetings and saying how things should be. If that’s the case, then it will get really, really difficult,” he said on Sport1.
“The team has lost the plot,”
“You can’t just take a lot of people and a lot of money, put them in a pot, stir them briefly and then hope something good comes out of it in Formula 1,
“The team wanted to use the bulldozer method and that didn’t work at Toyota either,”
Certainly TJ13’s source backs up this sentiment by yesterday describing the morale of the team to be “utter garbage”.
Quite how Aston Martin Racing can unpick themselves from this situation quickly is unclear. Certainly, the team will be looking for direction from new team boss Mike Krack, but the feeling in the paddock is that he’ll have a steep cliff to climb, particularly when dealing with team owner Lawrence Stroll. It was noticed in the paddock last weekend that Stroll hit the roof after hearing just how bad the car was once qualifying had been completed. A transcript (below) of an AMuS podcast video explains what occurred.
Quite how Mike Krack can sort out the team is tricky, and former team boss and F1 driver Gerhard Berger thinks he is well out of his depth saying Krack “didn’t impress me” while he was with BMW.
Speaking to select media including Motorsport.com in Bahrain last weekend, Berger explained his opinion on the matter saying:
“Let’s see what can be done, but when I watched what was done in DTM, I just don’t see the way forward for Aston Martin with him,” Berger said.
“In all the years I’ve been there now, [BMW has] never been really consistently competitive.
“You could see always, they’d be on the starting grid in a good position one day and they didn’t know why they are there today. And the next day they been in the end of the grid and they didn’t know why they [at] the end of the grid.
“When you watch it and you see this over a longer period, you question the people behind it, and he was leading it, the project.
“And this is DTM! DTM is great. But the F1 is a different league. Here, you need to be the best of the best in the world. I don’t see this.
“Sorry, I was a bit direct, but it’s just somebody asked me. That’s my opinion.”