Aston Martin has more updates scheduled for the AMR23 at the next F1 race in Mexico – after showing solid pace in COTA. The British outfit will be eager to optimise its package further in the last four rounds.
Before the US GP, plenty of criticisms were directed at Aston Martin. A lack of practice time prevented them from optimising their upgrades, resulting in Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll failing to reach Q3 on Friday.
Although F1 teams usually need some time to learn and correlate their updates, Aston’s recent form meant that fans were unwilling to give the benefit of the doubt. Simply put, Mike Krack’s team has been on a steady decline throughout 2023. The Sprint race and qualifying sessions in COTA were seen as confirmation of this.
However, before the main race, the team made changes to both cars. Well aware of parc ferme conditions, Team Silverstone used the Grand Prix as a test. Alonso ran with the old-spec floor, whilst Lance Stroll used the latest updates.
An encouraging race
Set-up changes were also made beyond this so the team could optimise its updates after collecting data from the first two days of running. This decision paid off.
Fernando Alonso was eventually forced to retire in COTA, but not before showing impressive pace in the AMR23. He was on track for a P8 finish (which would have been P6 after Hamilton and Leclerc’s post-race penalties).
More importantly, though, the Spaniard was setting comparable laps to the likes of George Russell at the front.
Lance Stroll was also very fast in the Americas. In fac, there were significant phases of the Grand Prix where the Canadian was faster than his teammate. This is a good indication that Aston Martin’s upgrades worked and provided several tenths last weekend.
Considering the typical gap between the two Aston drivers, this pace differential was significant. Moreover, Aston Martin should be able to optimise this package in Mexico.
More upgrades planned
Speaking of this week’s Mexican GP, Aston Martin is set to bring additional upgrades. This is not necessarily surprising – since the US GP would have given the team confirmation about their simulator and factory data.
The latest AMR23 changes are also part of the team’s direction for 2024. Much like Mercedes, it will be crucial to establish a strong baseline to build upon over the winter break.
Aston Martin started the season with a very strong foundation. However, mistakes in the simulator and failed upgrades have forced the team to make corrections – which seemingly worked in Austin.
Although Aston’s 2023 purple patch is long gone, they have four race weekends to reinstill confidence they have learned from their mistakes.
Before arriving at the Mexican GP, Dan Fallows and his technical team will evaluate their latest data to make important conclusions about their direction.