Otmar Szafnauer says Aston Martin is still laying out a roadmap for how it will achieve its aim of competing for championships.
Racing Point was rebranded as Aston Martin for this season as an extension of team owner Lawrence Stroll’s chairmanship of the iconic British sports car brand. The team has been expanding its workforce by up to 25% despite new budget cap regulations, but team principal Szafnauer says it will be a number of years before it is able to fight for titles.
“It’s a lot easier to say we’re going to be fighting and winning a world championship than actually do it,” Szafnauer said. “The two things that have to happen are, one, we need a good plan in order to start today and get to world championship contenders, and then we’ve got to execute.
“We’re in the midst of that planning now, and the execution will definitely take some time. People in Formula 1, in other teams, have said you’ve got to give us three-to-five years to do so, and we’re no different.
“For the last year we’ve planned a new factory with new infrastructure in a place to house all of us under one roof, to grow the team, and the implementation of that has just now begun at Silverstone and towards the end of 2022 we should be moving into a new factory. And within that factory we’re going to need state of the art tools that will help us design and develop a car that’s worthy of contending for a world championship. That’s a few years away. If I have to look into the future it’ll be in the three-to-five-year time period.”
Sebastian Vettel has been a headline addition for 2021, but Aston Martin has also been hiring staff in a number of other areas. In trying to move up the grid, Szafnauer says most of the investment has been made in personnel who can have a direct influence on how quick the car is.
“We’ve grown significantly since the days of Racing Point, and we’ve got plans to grow further,” he said. “We’re probably 20-25% up on where we were, and the people that we’re hiring, as you can imagine, are those that will have the biggest impact on car performance as that’s what it’s all about.
“Having said that we’ve also – which has an indirect influence on car performance – we have also added a lot of partners, kept the ones we’ve had in the past, so our commercial department has also grown. But first and foremost, the growth is always in the areas of car performance.”