Is Aston Martin Cheating with their New Car?

On February 13, Aston Martin will unveil the AMR23 at their Silverstone factory. Eric Blandin, Chief Technical Director, inferred that they’d made some unique modifications to surprise everyone.

“We’ve put some clever innovations into the new car – they’re the icing on the cake,” he says in an interview 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 use it to your advantage. But you cannot build an entire car often around it.”

A whistleblower alleges that these modifications are akin to ‘cheating.’

Aston Martin’s New Car

Blandin says that the ‘the AMR23 is new, it’s completely different from the AMR22.’

“We changed more than 90 percent of the parts and more than 95 percent of the aerodynamic surfaces.”

Blandin has clearly communicated that they have no intention of misleading their fans by displaying a refreshed vintage car at the launch.

As to when they will unveil the new car?

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

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But there is a loophole for cheating.

As per the motorsport website thejudge13, an Aston Martin factory employee whistleblower has alleged that the budget cap gives Aston Martin the leeway to do ‘cheating’ for a better word.

Aston Martin has taken the initiative to invest heavily in their Formula 1 program. The team formerly known as Force India / Racing Point has experienced a dramatic transformation over the past few years, with remarkable results.

The whistleblower elaborates on AMR’s system to bypass the budget cap imposed by creating separate companies and having their employees paid through them instead of drawing salaries from within the 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 uniforms 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.”

It’s impossible to confirm the exactness of this communication. However, it wouldn’t shock numerous people in the industry or even its spectators if such a loophole was utilized.

Here’s what the whistleblower said:

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

“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 what the former boss of Aston Martin, Otmar Szafnauer, suggests is true and blatant circumvention of the budget cap exists within Formula 1, then it’s hard to imagine how FIA and FOM could effectively monitor its compliance. This raises serious doubts about the viability of enforcing this financial restriction.

Former Aston Martin team boss says the budget cap is cheating

Szafnauer confirmed that the most successful teams were often circumventing the budget cap, declaring:

“I think some of the other teams, the bigger teams, are now trying to exploit loopholes or understand better where there are loopholes or organizational 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.”

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