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Schumacher: Aston Martin are 'lost' with 'bulldozer' approach

With Aston Martin having started the 2022 F1 season in dispiriting fashion at the Bahrain Grand Prix, ex-F1 driver Ralf Schumacher says both the AMR22 and the team's operational approach are not good enough.

Ralf Schumacher has weighed in on Aston Martin's disappointing start to the 2022 Formula 1 season, calling the AMR22 a "disaster" and criticising the team's "bulldozer approach" to reaching the front. Aston Martin's dismal start to 2022 began in qualifying, where both cars were knocked out in Q1, with Nico Hulkenberg - standing in for Covid-ridden Sebastian Vettel - and Lance Stroll only managing the 17th and 19thfastest times. The team's woes continued in the race, where neither car was remotely in contention for points, with Stroll finishing 12th and Hulkenberg 17th, and Schumacher said he thought neither the car nor the team's management structure was up to scratch. "The car is, so we hear, a disaster," six-time Grand Prix winner Schumacher said on German show AvD Motor & Sport Magazin . "And on top of that, apparently the team owner [Lawrence Stroll] is now also sitting in on the meetings and voicing how things should be done. "If that's the case, it gets really, really complicated."

Aston Martin trying to do "too much, too soon"

Aston Martin's struggles come despite considerable investment from Lawrence Stroll - father of Lance - and the team have ambitions to be challenging for the title by 2025. Several high-profile individuals have been recruited in recent months, such as one-time McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh, former BMW Motorsport head Mike Krack, and ex-Red Bull aerodynamics chief Dan Fallows. In addition to new personnel, Aston Martin are also in the process of building a new factory and wind tunnel, and Schumacher drew parallels with his time in F1 driving for Toyota, which failed to win a Grand Prix in an eight-year spell in the sport despite frequently having the biggest budget on the grid. "The team have lost the thread," said Schumacher. "They wanted to achieve too much too quickly, and that simply doesn't work in Formula 1. "You can't just take a lot of people and a lot of money, put them in a pot, stir it briefly and then something good comes out. "The team wanted to take a bulldozer approach and that didn't work at Toyota."

What about Stroll vs stand-in Hulkenberg?

Schumacher also criticised the performance of Lance Stroll across the season-opening weekend. Stroll was out-qualified at the Bahrain International Circuit by Hulkenberg, despite the German never having driven the AMR22 before, and only learning on Thursday that he would be competing in Vettel's stead. "Stroll should ask himself whether he should find a different hobby. It was really embarrassing. Nico did a good job," said Schumacher. Aston Martin were one of four teams to leave the first race empty-handed, along with Williams, McLaren and Red Bull.

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