Coming as the third team to do so far, Aston Martin has unveiled their challenger for the 2022 Formula 1 season. Called the AMR22, the car will be driven by Lance Stroll and 4-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.
While they may be the third of ten teams to unveil their car, Aston Martin is arguably the first team so far to actually change their livery from last year. Gone are the (admittedly unique) splashes of pink from ex-sponsor BWT, and in their place is neon green detailing similar to Aston’s other race cars. And when fitted with the similarly-colored medium compound tires, the car is really quite the looker, dare we say the tentative best-looking of the season.
Aston Martin AMR22 (top) compared to last year’s AMR21 (bottom)
But not only did the accents change color, there’s also more of them. Whereas the AMR21 featured its pink accents on the front wing’s leading edge, in a stripe down the side, and on the inside edges of the rear wing, the AMR22 adds extra pops of color on the front wing endplates, shark fin, and side logos. The car also now features black carbon fiber accents on the front and rear wings compared to last year’s solely green and pink color scheme.
And they’re not just the first team to feature a significantly revised livery, as the Silverstone-based team is also the first to display their actual car. Red Bull‘s reveal was just their “new” livery on one of F1’s show cars, and while Haas’s was supposedly more indicative of their actual car, it was just a rendering. Aston Martin’s, on the other hand, is the real deal, and while the car will likely change a bit before we see it on track to prevent other teams from copying it, it’s supposedly finalized enough that the team will be taking it to the Silverstone circuit for a shakedown tomorrow.
Front end comparisons of Aston Martin AMR22 (top left), Red Bull RB18 (top right), Haas VF-22 (bottom left), and F1 show car (bottom right)
As for the actual design, the AMR22 shows a lot of details that differ from the both the show car as well as the other teams’ cars we’ve seen so far. At the front, the simplified wing features much straighter edges, with the flaps being much less exaggerated than the Haas’s and the leading edge having a much smaller center protrusion than the show car’s. The nose seems to be a combination of everything we’ve seen so far, being as long as the show car’s, as narrow as the Red Bull’s, and about as squared-off as the Haas’s, potentially a bit less.
Moving back, the side pod intakes are actually square-shaped (but left unpainted to look larger and rounder), while the side pods themselves feature a set of “gills”, two things we haven’t seen on any rendition of the 2022 F1 car yet.
Something interesting about those side pod intakes, though, is that while at first it appears they have been left unpainted simply to hide their shape and size, upon closer inspection, the carbon fiber piece actually appears to have a panel gap where it meets the green, meaning there’s a possibility that they’re actually a clever bit of camouflage rather than a design choice. It could be that the carbon fiber piece is actually just a plug, and we might see larger, rounder intakes come the start of the season. Finally, at the car’s rear, the wing is just as straight-edged as the front, and it’s so far the only one to give us a peek at how DRS will work with these new car designs.
We’ll be interested to see how the car performs out on the racetrack, as these new clean-sheet regulations, combined with a much tighter cost cap, are supposed to be the great equalizer amongst the teams. Aston certainly has the driver talent, the resources, and the facilities to produce a potentially race-winning car, so we’ll just have to wait for the first race on March 20 to find out.