After a series of difficult weekends, Aston Martin enjoyed one of their best performances in 2023 at the Brazilian GP. Heading into next season, this is a much-needed sign of encouragement.
The Silverstone-based team found itself without direction for a significant portion of the year, following a misguided development path. Their mistakes have been detrimental in a sport with a limited budget and wind tunnel allocations.
After a promising race day in Austin, the Mexico GP was another event of concern for Mike Krack’s personnel. With only a few rounds left in the season, the opportunity to recover was rapidly closing.
Thankfully for Aston Martin, the Brazil GP at Interlagos was a return to their early performance. Although Red Bull was beyond reach, the British outfit was able to secure a podium with Fernando Alonso and 5th place with Lance Stroll.
In terms of points, this was their best weekend since the Australian GP. Considering Stroll benefited in Melbourne from the late red flag, their Sunday race in Brazil was better executed.
Moreover, in terms of relative pace to Adrian Newey’s RB19, the AMR23 was competitive. The deficit was just under half a second, an impressive feat given that Alonso spent several laps defending from Sergio Perez.
To be clear, there are still issues for the team to address. Their development direction for 2024 should now be clearer, but question marks remain.
McLaren’s resurgence – alongside the potential of sleeping giants Mercedes and Ferrari – removes any margin for error over winter. They cannot afford to lose six months of R&D.
Next year’s cars will be the penultimate iteration before F1 implements its 2026 regulation change. This increases the stakes for next season, given that any errors will be difficult to recover from.
Lawrence Stroll will be optimistic his team can re-assert itself as front-runners when the 2024 campaign begins. Although there are no certainties, Brazil should serve as a positive sign for Team Silverstone.