Alpine has “absolutely no worries” of trouble with Alonso during 2022

Alonso’s switch was announced on the Monday after the Hungarian GP while Alpine still believed it was in negotiations to extend his contract.
Szafnauer first learned about the move from the Aston Martin press release, rather than from the driver himself.
However, despite the obvious tensions that such a scenario could create, Szafnauer insists that the two parties will continue to work together efficiently.
“I have absolutely no worries about the rest of the season,” he said. “Our goals are pretty clear. We want to finish at least fourth in the constructors’ championship. I think third is a step too far.
“Fernando realises that too. He’s a professional. He’s a competitor. Once he puts that helmet on, you know as well as I do, he wants to do the best he can, if not win.
“And there is nothing else that goes through his mind when he’s in the racing car apart from finishing as high as he can in that race, and in the championship.
“And he still has that drive. It’s what he’s here to do. And I’m the same.”

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522
Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Szafnauer insists that the A522 can become even more competitive as the season goes on.
“I do want to do absolutely the best we can. And especially this year, our upgrades are still coming very fast. We’ll have another upgrade in Spa, and will continue to upgrade the car until the end of the year. And Fernando understands that too.
“And he will work hard as will Esteban [Ocon] to maximise the performance of the team. I have no doubt about that.”
Asked how Alonso will fare at Aston Martin – working for Lawrence Stroll and as team mate to the team owner’s son Lance – Szafnauer said it was too early to predict.
“He’s a great, great driver, among the best I’ve worked with,” he said. “He still is competing at a very high level. He’s still fast, and in tricky conditions, which really show the driver’s skill, he is even better. And we saw that this year. If that continues for another three years, great for Aston and Fernando.
“I don’t know when that will wane, but from a working relationship, I don’t know, I can’t predict because there are so many factors that you have to take into consideration to be able to predict how that’s going to play out. But let’s see what happens.”

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Source: AutoSport.com

Aston Martin DBR22, Porsche 911 GT3, Infiniti Q60: Today’s Car News

Aston Martin revealed a sultry speedster inspired by 1950s race cars, the DBR22, ahead of its formal debut at Monterey Car Week. Though the two-seat roadster is a concept car, we suspect the Q by Aston Martin creation will spur a limited run for lucky enthusiasts, each motivated by a 705-hp V-12.
We drove a Python Green 2022 Porsche 911 GT3, and came away enamored of its snakelike ability to slither through twisty pavement. The high-revving 4.0-liter flat-6 and 6-speed manual transmission also sent signals that stimulated the brain’s pleasure center.
It’s a familiar refrain. The Infiniti Q60 will end production after the 2022 model year so the Japanese luxury brand can concentrate on crossover and electric vehicles. Perhaps the writing was on the wall given we’ve heard no rumors of an update despite a new Nissan Z, which shares the same platform.
You’ll find these stories and more in today’s car news, right here at Motor Authority.
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Source: MotorAuthority.com

Aston Martin reveals poster-worthy 705-hp DBR22 speedster

Aston Martin on Monday revealed the DBR22, a sultry speedster set to make its formal debut on Aug. 19 at 2022 Monterey Car Week.
The DBR22 is officially a concept car, though such a stunning design is too good to waste and Aston Martin has hinted strongly a small production run will happen. The number of cars built is likely dependent on how much interest the Monterey showing garners.
The DBR22 is the creation of Q by Aston Martin. It was built to mark this year’s 10th anniversary of the founding of Aston Martin’s official personalization department, but more importantly it highlights the division’s talent and breadth of capability. Previous creations have included the Vulcan track car and Victor supercar.
Aston Martin DBR22
The DBR22 features a design strongly influenced by the DBR1, the race car that earned Aston Martin its sole 24 Hours of Le Mans outright victory back in 1959, with legends Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby doing the driving. The later DB3S race car from 1953 also played a part in the design, Aston Martin said.
The design is a clear continuation of Aston Martin’s current themes but with a lack of creases and panel gaps. There’s also the new grille design with carbon-fiber that fills in for the traditional metal veins. Carbon fiber is also used for the rest of the body panels.
The underlying structure is shared with Aston Martin’s sports cars, and no doubt the similar V12 Speedster limited edition launched by Aston Martin in 2020. Unique modifications included new front and rear shear panels added to improve torsional rigidity, along with a new aluminum subframe that Aston Martin crafted using multiple 3D-printed parts. It also has unique calibrations for the adaptive dampers and transmission, we’re told.
Aston Martin DBR22
Power comes from Aston Martin’s twin-turbo 5.2-liter V-12, tuned in this application to deliver 705 hp and 555 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic and drives the rear wheels only. The combination with the lightweight speedster body means 0-60 mph acceleration in 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 198 mph.
You’re going to want to wear a helmet when traveling at any serious speed, though Aston Martin adds elements to help reduce turbulence in the cockpit area. There’s the large horseshoe-shaped vent in the front hood and small wind deflector designed to channel air over the cockpit area, as well as the pair of nacelles on the rear deck that smooth out the airflow in the rear.
Inside is a new dashboard with digital displays. It takes on a different look than current cars, and we wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up in Aston Martin’s updated sports car range due next year.
Aston Martin DBR22
Aston Martin has another debut planned for Monterey Car Week, likely to be the V12 Vantage Roadster recently spotted testing. The event is currently underway and culminates with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Aug. 21.
Source: MotorAuthority.com

2023 Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster spy shots: Hardcore sports car about to drop its top

Aston Martin unveiled a new generation of its V12 Vantage in March, and sadly the car has been confirmed as the last of its kind.
Aston Martin said at the time that just 333 examples would be built. What the automaker didn’t say, however, was that a convertible was also planned, with its own production run likely consisting of an equal 333 cars.
A prototype for the new generation of the awesome V12 Vantage Roadster has been spotted at Germany’s Nürburgring racetrack, and its lack of camouflage points to the reveal happening soon. We’ve heard it might happen as early as Aston Martin’s Club 1913 exhibit scheduled for Aug. 19-20 at the 2022 Monterey Car Week.
The V12 Vantage is designed to go up against extreme track-focused cars like the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Black Series and Porsche 911 GT2 RS, and a convertible body style holds a unique proposition in that set.
Final Aston Martin V12 VantageFinal Aston Martin V12 VantageFinal Aston Martin V12 Vantage
The V12 Vantage brings to the fight a twin-turbo 5.2-liter V-12 that delivers a peak 690 hp and 555 lb-ft of torque. Those are the same figures the engine delivers in 2020’s V12 Speedster special edition, a car that shares much in common with the V12 Vantage, and they help deliver a 0-60 mph of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 200 mph in the coupe. Expect similar performance for the convertible.
There’s also a host of chassis and aerodynamic mods to go with the beefed-up powertrain. The list includes new dampers, anti-roll bars, bushings, spring rates, body reinforcements, and a widened track. There’s also no missing the huge rear wing, though buyers have the option to omit this feature, at least on the coupe.
Unlike the previous V12 Vantage, which came with a manual transmission, the sole transmission this time is the Vantage’s 8-speed automatic, albeit with unique calibrations in the latest application for faster, crisper shifts. Fans will have to get used to automatics. The Vantage line is Aston Martin’s last car with the option of a manual, and the automaker plans to phase out it out with the arrival of an updated Vantage due in 2023.
You might be wondering why Aston Martin is also killing off the V12 Vantage. The automaker plans to launch hybrids and electric vehicles in the future, and this electrification strategy will extend to its sports car lineup. In fact, Aston Martin has already locked in an electric sports car for 2025.
Source: MotorAuthority.com

Aston Martin: CFD data shows rear wing doesn’t hurt F1 rules intent

The Silverstone-based squad caused a stir at the Hungarian Grand Prix when its AMR22 appeared fitted with a unique solution on the rear wing endplate.
Thanks to a clever interpretation of the rules, Aston Martin had allowed the return of a more traditional endplate design that helped deliver increased downforce.
While the concept had been given approval by the FIA, and rival teams did not question its legality, there was some concern that the new design could trigger an increase in airflow disturbance off the rear wing.
That could serve to scupper the ability of cars to follow the Aston Martin as closely as the rules had originally intended.
However, Aston Martin performance director Tom McCullough has revealed that as well as the FIA being happy with the regulatory aspect of the design, it was also satisfied that the concept did not scupper the intent of the rules to help the racing.
“It was part of us making sure that it was okay, because the intent of the rules is there,” he explained.
“But we were able to show with simulations, that it doesn’t have a material effect on that at all.
“The whole philosophy of the car is so dominant, and the wing [idea] is such a small feature of it.”

Aston Martin AMR22 rear wing detail
Photo by: Giorgio Piola

McCullough explained that Aston Martin went through several months of checking with the FIA to be sure its wing idea was totally legal before it considered giving the green light for its production.
“We spent months, from our initial interpretation and our understanding, tooing and froing with the FIA technical department,” he said.
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“Then we got the point that once we’d gone through several loops, tooing and froing, they agreed that we had satisfied all the technical regulations.
“We then decided to make it, which is why is took a while to come to the track. It took several months from the first contact to the full approval from the FIA.
“Then, once you’ve in theory got the approval, we then design and manufacture it. Then you submit all the designs pre-race weekend.
“And again, the FIA has to make sure they’re still happy with it, which they do. And then you get it on the car.”

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Source: AutoSport.com

The consequences of Aston Martin’s radical F1 rear wing design

While the teams have largely followed the intent of the regulations, that doesn’t mean an end to some innovative approaches, as the creative designers flex their muscles and interpret the regulations in their own unique ways.
In this respect, Aston Martin entered the conversation just ahead of the summer break, when it introduced a technically fascinating rear wing design. The new endplate design defies the convention set out in the regulations for which the rolled over transition with the mainplane and flaps has been formulated.

Aston Martin AMR22 rear wing
Photo by: Uncredited

The approach taken by the rulemakers here is both aesthetic and aerodynamic, with the design not only meant to be more appealing to the eye than the more conventional design, it’s also one of the measures meant to help reduce complexity and alter the wake profile of a lead car in order that a trailing car may follow more closely.
The design in question is a callback to the old regulations, with the forward portion of the endplate extended up over the mainplane to create a junction between the two elements and which extends the span of the mainplane, without introducing incredibly harsh flow conditions.
The inwardly-rolled top edge, which looks like an apostrophe, is more about meeting the various radius and continuity rules but has then been optimised to achieve the designers’ overall targets too.

Aston Martin AMR22 rear wing endplate
Photo by: Uncredited

Introducing such a complex design was obviously something that could not be completed overnight, with the team not only having to make the controversial wing work as anticipated but, as the team’s performance director Tom McCullough explains, it had to undergo scrutiny from the FIA on numerous occasions to ensure it complied too.
“It took several months from the first contact to the full approval from the FIA,” he said. “And then once you’ve got approval we then design manufacture it, then you submit all the designs pre-race weekend.
“And again, the FIA has to make sure they’re still happy with it, which they [did]. And then you get it on the car.”
However, even if this new design feature did result in a quantifiable performance increase at the Hungarian Grand Prix, it’s not to say that we’ll see the solution at every race weekend given the implications of the cost cap and that Aston Martin has already built wings that they expect to reuse over the course of the coming months.

Aston Martin AMR22 rear wing endplate
Photo by: Uncredited

“So, we have a whole suite of wings, which we’ve already made,” added McCullough. “A lot of them we’ve used already through all the different efficiencies of the circuits. So to then go and remake those? It’s just a bang for buck question.”
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The other interesting question is, who will follow in Aston Martin’s footsteps and produce their own version of this solution? Well, that’s going to become an interesting narrative as firstly, does the design appeal to other teams and their intended targets with the options of rear wings at their disposal?
Secondly, having run preliminary simulations on the design – which surely most of the teams will have done – does it provide the necessary uptick in performance to warrant further optimisation and the resources that entails?
Thirdly, will it fit in against the backdrop of the remaining budget, owing to the challenges posed by the cost cap?
Lastly, and perhaps more importantly, will the FIA intervene and review the regulations to prohibit the design for 2023?
As this will likely have more of an impact on other teams’ decisions as to whether they decide to produce their own versions going forward.

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Source: AutoSport.com

Monza Full Access: Episode 4

After the pressure and preparation of practice and qualifying, there’s no more time for planning as the WEC grid is unleashed into the Monza 6 Hours, captured in the fly on the wall documentary produced by the series.
The action erupts early on as Henrique Chaves crashes his #33 TF Sport Aston Martin, later diagnosed as front brake failure, which sends his car off track and into a huge airborne smash after colliding with a sausage kerb. Thankfully, Chaves is able to get out of the car and after a check up at the track medical centre he is confirmed as OK.
The drama continues as the #708 Glickenhaus suffers a smoky retirement due to a turbo failure while battling for the lead.
Then the major flashpoint of the Hypercar victory battle arrives, as Alpine and Toyota clash with Kamui Kobayashi in the #7 Toyota colliding with Matthieu Vaxiviere in the #36, resulting in the Japanese driver suffering heavy damage and a puncture.
Throughout the race action, recently-retired 2014 WEC champion and expert commentator Anthony Davidson provides insight on the flashpoints to help delve into the minds of the drivers.
As the race finishes the tension turns into elation for the winners and devastation for the losers, to encapsulate the emotions behind fighting for victory at Monza.
Watch the episode here and the full series on Motorsport.tv.

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Source: AutoSport.com

Alpine: Ocon has what it takes to lead the F1 team in 2023

Szafnauer says that the Frenchman’s only weakness is that he can take too long to find the limits at the start of the race weekend. Aston Martin announced last week that it had signed Alonso for 2023, and it’s not yet clear who will replace him at the Enstone outfit. The team had hoped to slot reserve driver Oscar Piastri into the seat, and announced him last Tuesday. However, the Australian is understood to have signed a contract with McLaren and quickly took to social media to deny that he would be racing for Alpine next year. While Alpine is still pursuing its claim on Piastri, with the matter expected to go to the Contract Recognition Board, the team management is now considering other drivers. The list includes former Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg, but many of the candidates have less experience than Ocon, potentially leaving him as de facto team leader next year. Szafnauer says that Ocon proved his worth alongside Sergio Perez at Force India/Racing Point in 2017 and 2018. “Esteban is a super talent,” he noted. “I worked with him at Force India and those were the days of Sergio Perez as his team-mate. “And he was as quick as Sergio and raced Sergio hard, and if you remember those days, they were always together on the grid. And sometimes they even came together in the races! And we see what Sergio is capable of. Esteban Ocon, Alpine F1 Team, Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal, Alpine F1, and Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1 Team Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images “With Fernando too, although Fernando’s got the skill and the talent to get a lap out of the car very quickly. “He needs three or four laps and he’s at 99%, or 99.9%, and that extra 0.1% comes with a few laps more, if you know what I mean, whereas Esteban takes a little bit more time to get the maximum out of the car. Read Also: “But ultimately, on Saturday, and then Sunday, he’s there. So he needs to learn a little bit to get there a bit faster. But we’re working with him on that. “And thereafter, can he lead the team? For sure he’s getting better and better. He’s got a race win under his belt. He’s scored good points for us this year. And he’ll learn more by the time we get to next year.” shares comments
Source: AutoSport.com

How Honda F1 missed a two-week window to sign Vettel

According to Otmar Szafnauer, Alpine’s F1 team principal and the former Honda F1 director of strategy and business planning, there was a two-week window where Vettel was available to sign back in his junior days. Szafnauer has always enjoyed a good relationship with Vettel, and played a key role in the German driver signing for Aston Martin last year after holding talks through 2020. Vettel announced at the end of last month he would be retiring from F1 at the end of the season. Asked for his best story about Vettel in Hungary, Szafnauer revealed there was a time when he had hoped to sign the then-Red Bull and BMW-linked youngster for Honda, only for sporting director Gil de Ferran to drag his heels over a move. “Seb came up to me and he said, ‘I’ve got a two-week window,’ and he was a young, he was I don’t know, 19 years old or whatever,” Szafnauer recalled. “‘I’ve got a two week window where I’m out of contract at both Red Bull and I think BMW. So, are you interested in signing me?’ “He was unknown quantity back then. But I’m like, ‘yeah, this kid’s good!’ Two-week window! “So I went to Gil, and I said, ‘we have two-week window to sign Seb Vettel.’ He said, ‘don’t worry, I got my eye on him.’ ‘What do you mean, you got your eye on him? We got two weeks!’ “Anyway, we didn’t sign him.” Jenson Button, Honda RA107 Photo by: Motorsport Images Vettel would go on to make his F1 race debut for BMW Sauber at the 2007 United States Grand Prix, deputising for the injured Robert Kubica, before getting a full-time race seat with Red Bull’s junior team Toro Rosso later that year. It paved the way for Vettel to become then F1’s youngest race winner at Monza in 2008 for Toro Rosso before securing his maiden world title in 2010 with Red Bull. Szafnauer would leave Honda midway through 2008, which proved to be the Japanese manufacturer’s last season with a works squad. It pulled the plug at the end of the year, resulting in Brawn GP picking up the pieces to win both titles in 2009 before eventually evolving into Mercedes’ works outfit from 2010. Szafnauer and Vettel held talks through 2020 about a switch to what was then known as Racing Point, including a famed lift in a car to a petrol station at the British Grand Prix. Read Also: Szafnauer revealed Vettel had brought homemade bread when he came to stay with him in the UK, speaking to the four-time world champion’s character. “During COVID, he felt more comfortable not going to a hotel where he thought he could pick up Covid than spending time at our house whenever he came to England, because everybody tested every day, so everyone knew, we’re Covid free,” Szafnauer said. “And whenever he would come over, he would bring with him homemade bread, that he made in Switzerland, in this little satchel that he had he brought it with him. And I remember the first time, the kids were all looking. But they absolutely loved Seb’s homemade bread. “Every time he came, he had to bring his homemade bread. Brilliant! I mean, who else does that?” shares comments
Source: AutoSport.com

Rare Aston Martin DB AR1 combines V-12 with 6-speed manual, and can be yours

Aston Martin and Zagato have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship since their first collaboration, the now iconic DB4 GT Zagato first unveiled in 1960. Over the ensuing decades the duo has coined several such collaborations, including the DB7 Zagato unveiled at the 2002 Paris International Motor Show and limited to 99 examples.
Further to the announcement of the DB7 Zagato, a great deal of interest was shown by customers in the U.S. for a version suited specifically to the warm, sunny climates of Florida and California. Thus the collaboration extended to an identical number of DB AR1 (American Roadster 1) sports cars being produced, one of which can now be yours.
This one, listed for sale on Bring a Trailer, is car number 29 of the 99-unit production run and has just 4,400 miles on its odometer.
The DB-AR1 is based on Aston Martin’s DB7 launched in 1993 but features a unique, hand-formed body crafted from aluminum and a rear deck with a double-bubble design, a nod to the double-bubble roofs that typically feature on Zagato’s coupes. This one is also finished in Orient Blue paint and fitted with a Bridge of Weir tan leather interior.
2003 Aston Martin DB AR1 – Photo credit: Bring A Trailer2003 Aston Martin DB AR1 – Photo credit: Bring A Trailer2003 Aston Martin DB AR1 – Photo credit: Bring A Trailer
Although the DB AR1 design is inspired by the DB7 Zagato, the two cars feature different lines. This isn’t only due to the missing roof of the DB AR1. The car also rides on the standard wheelbase of the DB7 and not the shortened setup of the DB7 Zagato.
Power in the car comes from Aston Martin’s former 5.9-liter V-12, tuned here to deliver 435 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. It results in a 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 185 mph, both respectable numbers for a car from the early 2000s. Impressively, power is delivered to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission.
The car’s current location is at Mohr Imports in Monterey, California. The current bid on Bring a Trailer at the time of writing is $100,000, with nine days left for the sale. A book containing photos and documentation of the build is also included with the sale.
The relationship between Aston Martin and Zagato continues to this day, with the most recent collaboration taking place in 2019 in the form of the DBS Superleggera-based DBS GT Zagato. Just 19 of those cars were built.
Source: MotorAuthority.com