Aston Martin wonders why F1 teams didn't vote on 2021 floor changes

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Aston Martin wonders if there was a reason why Formula 1 teams didn't get a vote on the floor changes introduced for 2021.

Amid concerns that ever-increasing cornering speeds could make the tyres unsafe, a section the floor in front of the rear wheels was cut out and tweaks to the diffuser were made to reduce downforce for this season.

Based on the laptimes in Bahrain, the changes certainly worked as Max Verstappen's pole time was 1.7s slower than what Lewis Hamilton managed in qualifying just four months earlier.

And with Mercedes and Aston Martin seemingly the two teams most impacted by the changes, Aston boss Otmar Szafnauer hinted that might not have been unintentional.

“I’m not a conspiracy theorist but it was pointed out last year by the low rake runners that this would have a bigger effect than the high rake runners and we were correct,” he said.

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Szafnauer then revealed that had the usual procedure been followed, the changes would not have been introduced this season.

“Number one, there was never a vote [of the F1 Commission on the changes],” he added.

“Number two, there was an indicative vote. So that was just at the technical under committee [Working Group], that all the technical directors had to have an indicative vote, and three teams voted against it.

“You’ve got to remember only two teams have a low-rake concept. So even one of the high-rake teams voted against it. So nowhere near unanimity. And it wouldn’t have even passed on the eight out of 10 rule because three voted against.”

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Aston Martin were tipped to be the third-best team in 2021 but instead, struggled massively in Bahrain with Lance Stroll starting and finishing 10th, while Sebastian Vettel had a disastrous debut in green.

“I think the rude awakening happened in qualifying when we realised after analysing the data that the low rake cars were hampered significantly more by the regulation change,” Szafnauer reflected.

“[But] there’s more to come, we haven’t given up on this year and we have things in the tunnel and in R&D and we’ll start bringing them to the track fairly soon.

“It’s just clawing back the deficit that was imposed on us by the FIA through their regulation change based on safety,” added Szafnauer.

“From talking to other teams, they’ve made up the entire deficit, we haven’t, and that’s just because of the different aero philosophy that we run. So we’ll work hard to get that done in the next few races.”