What are we missing from todays driver announcement?

Friday, July 08, 2016

For us lesser mortals here at The-Advantage, this afternoon's announcement of Aston Martin Racing's driver restructuring process came as, and is still something of a bemusement.

We understand that whilst most cars within the WEC GTE Pro Class (all except the #67 Ford GT) run with just two drivers, and that two drivers gives greater seat time and continuity when compared to three and that the team needs to do everything in its power to help them seek an advantage over their class opposition, there remains a slight niggle in the back of our minds of this being a repeat of last year.

If we cast our minds back approximately twelve months ago (post Le Mans at least) we saw a similar situation when Nicki Thiim left the #95 Young Driver AMR car to ply his trade in other series in which he was contracted so that left the #95 to run for most of the remainder of the season with just two drivers - the same as being proposed today.

Also, the Young Driver AMR team is not a factory ran team being that Prodrive/Aston Martin Racing simply prepare and maintain the car for the team on a contract basis with the Danish squad rather than as one of their own entries. As far as we understand things only Darren Turner and Richie Stanaway are directly employed by Aston Martin Racing - the others are contracted to.

It was also about this time (after the Nurburgring round to be exact) that Jonny Adam was first drafted into the #97 because one half of the then twin driver line up in that car mysteriously disappeared off the entry list - he being Stefan Mucke.

Fernando Rees, a driver of great ability and commitment moves both himself and his family to the UK for the period of time between the Prologue and until the end of the european half of the WEC season and to say that he will remain part of AMR's Customer Programme after he has moved back in his native Brazil is again a bit of an oddity.

Looking at the performance differences between the Vantage GTE Pro car and its adversaries within the WEC (Ford GT, Ferrari 488 and to some degree the Porsche 911) data taken from the first two rounds of the WEC and at Le Mans, the fact of reverting to a two driver line up simply will not make up for the >4 second per lap deficit the team currently face.

Our question is simple - Is this announcement saying that said drivers have already announced that they going elsewhere for 2017?

We don't know but we stand to be corrected………….!!
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