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Last Trade - 07/05/21

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Market Cap £2.13bn
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Motor racing-Aston Martin F1 team boss wants aero rule revision

By Alan Baldwin
    April 16 (Reuters) - Aggrieved Aston Martin boss Otmar
Szafnauer wants to talk to Formula One's governing body about
changing the aerodynamic rules with the season barely started.
    The Mercedes-powered team argue that subtle regulation
tweaks introduced this year have targeted low-rake cars, like
Aston Martin and champions Mercedes, while favouring high-rake
rivals like Red Bull.
    High-rake cars ride higher at the rear while those like
Mercedes are flatter to the ground, affecting the airflow
underneath.
    "I think the right thing to do is to have the discussions
with the FIA and find out exactly what happened and why,"
Szafnauer told Sky Sports television.
    "We as a team have to work hard to try to claw back
everything we can but at the same time we should be having the
discussions with the FIA to see if anything can be done to make
it a bit more equitable." 
    Asked whether Aston Martin might ultimately consider legal
action, Szafnauer added: "I think we get to that point after the
discussion. It’s hard to predict. I think the right thing to do
is see what can be done."
    Aston Martin, competing as Racing Point, finished fourth
overall in 2020 and started the year with high hopes of
challenging for third.
    Instead, they scored one point with Canadian Lance Stroll in
last month's Bahrain opener while four times world champion
Sebastian Vettel ended up 15th.  
    Red Bull boss Christian Horner, whose team dominated in
Bahrain only for Max Verstappen to finish second behind
Mercedes' seven times champion Lewis Hamilton, said he was
"slightly surprised" by the complaint.
    "There is a process for regulations to be introduced and
they were voted through unanimously..." he said.
    "It seems a little naive to think that suddenly the rules
are just going to get changed after the sample of a single race
after the process has been fully followed. I'm struggling to get
my head around that."    
    The likelihood of any mid-season rule change can be
effectively ruled out, with such an extraordinary measure
permitted only on safety grounds and affecting all teams
equally. 
    Horner, whose team were dominant from 2010-13 before the V6
turbo hybrid engine was introduced, said it was the 'nature of
the game' for rule changes to shift the balance of power by
outlawing some developments and favouring others.
    "It's part of Formula One and the regulations evolve and
change and you have to swing with those punches," he said. "That
is Formula One."

 (Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ken Ferris)
 ((alan.baldwin@thomsonreuters.com; +442075427933;))
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