Whistleblower: Aston Martin huge loophole ‘cheating’

After finding some loopholes in the Formula One regulations, Aston Martin is happy to admit some “clever” ideas for its new car for 2023, but these probably pale into insignificance compared to the alleged budget cap trickery at play.

As Aston Martin gears up to reveal the AMR23 at the Silverstone factory on February 13, chief technical director Eric Blandin hinted that the team have implemented some interesting ideas.

“We’ve put some clever innovations into the new car – they’re the icing on the cake,” he says in an interview published on the Aston Martin website. “They’re a nice-to-have, but not a must-have.”

“It’s great when you find a little loophole and you can use it to your advantage. But it’s not often that you can build an entire car around it.”


Perhaps a hint at the real work at play behind closed doors at the Silverstone based team, the technical director happy to admit engineering loopholes publically.

“Instead, it’s important to get the basics right, and then you can add things. When you start a new car project, you have to find out what the limitations of the previous year were and how you can overcome them with the new design”.

“You have to determine the architecture that has the most potential for the future. If you follow the wrong concept, you can limit yourself and run out of ways to develop. And that’s a very difficult situation to get out of.”



“This year’s car very different to last year…”

“We’ve taken all our learnings from last year’s car and applied them to this year’s car,” says Blandin. “So much of the AMR23 is new, it’s completely different from the AMR22.

“We changed more than 90 per cent of the parts and more than 95 per cent of the aerodynamic surfaces.” confirms Blandin.

Blandin also makes it clear that the team will not be trying to deceive the fans by revealing a repainted old car at the start.


“We will unveil the current car, just like we did last year,” he assures.

“The car we unveil on 13 February at our new Silverstone factory will be the real AMR23. We will not disappoint the fans.”



Alleged budget cap ‘huge loophole’

As this website had previously reported, an Aston Martin factory employee whistleblower has again contacted TJ13 with news of alleged budget cap ‘cheating’ for want of a better word.


It is very well known that Aston Martin has invested hugely into their F1 programme. The former Force India / Racing Point operation has transformed significantly in the last couple of years. 

Indeed this website has a very reliable source from with the team who has been a whistleblower on numerous occasions, the last such being the disaster the team faced this time last year with an poorly designed car that barely made winter testing. The employee also notified this website ahead of the formerly named Force India back in 2015 failed to make the first winter test due to supplier unpaid invoices. Indeed employees had been promised bonuses that never materialised. 


The source describes a system put in place to negate the budget cap by having AMR employees paid by different companies outside the racing team.

“168 members of AMRF1 staff were moved over to a company called Formtech,” says the insider,

“…they are all still in the same jobs wearing AMR uniform with all the job perks and bonuses but not on AMR F1 budget. They also all received a £5000 “bonus” which was paid at the end of October 2021, another £5000 will be paid at the end of October 2022 to anyone who has stayed on for the 12 months.”


As to how true the details are in this communication, nobody will ever know. But it would be unlikely to be a huge surprise to many within the paddock, and even the fan base, that this kind of loophole was being employed. 

“Fast forward to 2022 more staff were moved again but this time to “Aston Martin GP Services Limited” again same job roles etc etc but without the £5000 “bonus”…” claims the disgruntled employee of Aston Martin,

“In total this is around 200 people doing the exact same jobs, wearing the AMR F1 green uniform, the only difference is the bank account they’re paid from…”


If this is endemic within the Formula 1 establishment, which it appears it could be if former Aston Martin team boss Otmar Szafnauer is to be believed, it is difficult to see how the FIA and FOM would successfully police it, and puts a big question mark over the effectiveness of the budget cap going forward.



Former Aston Martin team boss claims budget cap ‘cheating’

Szafnauer had confirmed budget cap dodging was prolific in the top teams saying: 

“I think some of the other teams, the bigger teams, are now trying to exploit loopholes or understand better where there are loopholes or organisational changes you can make to get more people under the budget cap.”

“They’ve got to the point where they say, ‘I got rid of 100 people, but now I want to hire them back.’ Because I’ve managed to find jobs for them within the cap where they’re either not counted as a whole person, or they’re doing marketing or whatever,” Szafnauer explains.

READ MORE: Aston Martin & top team huge budget cap ‘cheating’




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