Dan Fallows has responded to the growing speculation surrounding Aston Martin and its relationship with their supplier team – Mercedes.
Like all customer teams, Aston Martin receives various parts, including the power unit and gearbox, from a manufacturer team – in this case, Mercedes.
Typically, customer outfit struggle to match the performance of their suppliers.
This can be for multiple reasons, ultimately boiling down to the limitations of relying on an external source for crucial areas of performance.
Other factors, such as the higher level of resources and investment that supplier teams receive, are also important to consider in this equation.
Manufacturers like Mercedes and Ferrari are free to utilise their engines and aerodynamic packages as they see fit, whilst customers must build around certain components introduced by these suppliers.
All these factors have only made Aston Martin’s performances in 2023 more impressive, with the AMR23 fast enough to surpass (and somewhat embarrass) Mercedes at this stage.
However, there have been question marks about how far the Silverstone-based squad can progress under their current arrangement.
Speaking on this issue, Aston’s technical director Dan Fallows sees no reason for alarm:
“And so far, I haven’t found any reason to wish for anything other than what we got from them,” he explained, according to motorsport-total.
“That would be the case if we really depended on them for areas that would limit our performance.
“[But] Honestly, I don’t think anything that we get from Mercedes will limit our performance.
“Is any of that preventing us from achieving the goals that we want to achieve? No, absolutely not.
“So I think we’re very happy with our relationship at the moment. I think that’s where we are at.”
Rumours have linked Aston Martin to a deal with Honda for 2026, which is seen as a partnership that could give the team greater autonomy in Formula 1.
Red Bull’s relationship with Honda was similar to this, as the Austrian outfit worked exclusively (alongside their second team AlphaTauri) with the Japanese manufacturer.
It seems plausible that Lawrence Stroll’s continued investment in the team’s facilities could incentivise such a bold step in the foreseeable future.
With that said, turning away from Mercedes engines would have been a somewhat ludicrous suggestion in the early years of the hybrid era. Even now, this idea is not without risks.
However, the last few years have demonstrated that other suppliers can bridge the gap and offer competitive alternatives.
The question is whether Aston Martin wants to pursue a new direction or if – as outlined by Dan Fallows – their current arrangement with Mercedes is sufficient.
Perhaps the rumours linking the British team with a collaboration with Honda are just that – rumours.
However, as Aston competes at the front, the steps they take to consolidate themselves as a top team will be closely observed throughout the F1 paddock.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang