The Austrian GP was the second race of 2023, where Aston Martin found itself out of podium contention. The English car experienced a dull weekend from the beginning, consistently slower than Ferrari and, of course, Red Bull.
Alonso and Stroll were limited in fighting for the top 5 positions, finding themselves behind the newly updated McLaren, reinvigorated by the important changes introduced.
“We obtained a result in line with what our car has offered in terms of performance,” admitted always analytical Fernando Alonso. The appeal presented post-race by Mike Krack‘s team at the end of the race, and welcomed by the FIA, changed the standings with a shower of penalties that allowed Fernando Alonso to climb to fifth position and Stroll to ninth.
Aston Martin surprised by Ferrari’s performance
The green was average both in qualifying and the two races, which featured wet and dry conditions. This performance was not dissimilar from what the AMR23 had offered in Barcelona, a track where the car struggled for the first time in 2023.
In Spain, the problems were mainly related to a wrong baseline setup and strong instabilities associated with the high load package, which put the pilots in crisis on the race pace. In Austria, Aston Martin confirmed that it doesn’t particularly like medium-speed corners, especially in the last sector, where the average gap compared to Verstappen was 4-tenths.
An average of eight tenths per lap on the race pace on a very short track like that of the Red Bull Ring is a fact of no small importance if we think that it is above all in the race that the AMR23 showed itself to be second absolute strength.
However, the English team would have been very surprised by the progress made by Ferrari in terms of how it performed compared to its competitors, Mercedes and Aston itself.
Updates at Silverstone on the AMR23 – Aimed at achieving more consistency across different tracks
The team’s home race in Silverstone represents the chance for Aston Martin to immediately leave behind the disappointment from Austria. The historic British circuit should be more suited to the AMR23 than the Red Bull Ring.
As we reported after the Spanish GP, later confirmed by Krack himself, Silverstone will be another round that will see more new parts on the AMR23.
The “bulk” of these steps was introduced in Montréal, with a new floor and a revised undercut and slide of the bellies. On British soil, the improvements already begun in Canada – and then maintained in Austria – should be completed.
The Silverstone track will certainly be more convincing in terms of data analysis, above all to test the increased level of aerodynamic efficiency, without having lost any downforce points.
It will be interesting to understand what setup approach to Dan Follows and Luca Furbatto’s will be used this weekend. Specifically, it will be worth observing if the tendency not to go too unloaded with the rear wing will be upheld.
This choice is dictated by the fact that the AMR23 needs more wing loading at the rear in order not to unbalance the car too much.
For example, Ferrari tends to be the opposite. In terms of efficiency, not considering the active DRS, Aston has partially improved its efficiency values, thanks also to the front wing introduced in Barcelona, also useful to have more margin in the choice of the rear configuration.
With this development program, also aimed at the 2024 car, the focus will be on balancing the car better and avoiding the ups and downs Aston Martin has occasionally suffered.
On the subject of Silverstone, another technical aspect of no less importance is the debut of the new specification Pirelli tyres, already tested during the Barcelona weekend.
Indications say that Aston Martin will be one of those teams that could be (slightly) positively affected by the new tire casing made more resistant to stress. The need for this variation is due to early compensation of what would have been the 2024 tyre – due to the unexpected leap in speed that the 2023 cars had.
Silverstone represents, regardless of this, what could be the “litmus test” of performance that we will see between now and the end of the season, where updates will become increasingly less.
Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang