Aston Martin has started the 2023 season in impressive fashion, establishing itself as a front-running team in the opening three rounds.
Fernando Alonso has claimed three consecutive podiums with his AMR23 machine, demonstrating that the pre-season hype surrounding the Silverstone team was not without foundation.
Contact with Lance Stroll in Bahrain, a penalty debacle in Saudia Arabia and even a late-race incident with Carlos Sainz in Australia were not enough to prevent the Spaniard from finishing in the top three.
The British team’s development over the winter break has been unprecedented, with the likes of Dan Fallows and Eric Blandin spearheading their resurgence.
However, perhaps the bigger test will be whether Aston Martin can compete against the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes with their mid-season updates.
Mike Krack – Aston Martin team principal – has outlined the team’s upgrade plan for 2023:
“We’re still trying to identify strengths, weaknesses, where we need to improve and where we should focus.
“The biggest improvements will come later in the year. We’ll have some new parts in Baku, Imola, Montreal and some at Silverstone.
“But we’ll bring each small increment as soon as it’s ready rather than waiting to bundle everything up into big packages.
“It’s an approach that worked well for us last year with the AMR22.
“The important thing – the critical thing – is to keep close to our absolute best and get both cars home in the points.
“We’re competitive at the moment, and we have to make it count: we have to score heavily and everywhere, all the time.”
Despite a few hiccups – including Lance Stroll’s retirement in Jeddah – Aston Martin has certainly succeeded in maximising its early-season points tally.
A 3-4 finish in Australia represents the team’s highest-ever points tally, contributing to Aston Martin’s second position in the Constructors’ standings.
Maintaining this position, let alone catching Red Bull, will be an immense challenge as the season progresses.
The four-week gap until the Azerbaijan GP presents a crucial opportunity to introduce updates and analyse the data from the opening rounds.
Mike Krack has previously outlined the importance of optimising the AMR23 before introducing updates and pursuing the wrong development path.
Still, as the Aston team principal has explained, it will be imperative to take forward steps if they are to sustain their impressive start.
The nature of Formula 1 is relentless and unforgiving, so it is time for the Silverstone squad to prove they belong at the front.