Dan Fallows: Aston’s final 2023 races were “glorified test sessions”

Jaden Diaz
26 Dec, 2023

Aston Martin’s Dan Fallows is still confident about the potential for improvement in 2024, irrespective of this year’s mid-season struggles. According to the technical director, important lessons have been learned.

There have been numerous articles about the AMR23’s mid-season decline and revival. An aggressive development programme saw the British outfit lose ground and follow the wrong direction.

After taking six podiums from eight races, Fernando Alonso’s results took a decline. Aston Martin also paid the price in the constructors’ standings, eventually dropping to 5th place.

The Mexico GP was undoubtedly rock bottom for the team, who were essentially the slowest on the grid. However, this was followed by an impressive P3 for Alonso and P5 for Stroll at Brazil’s Interlagos circuit.

In an interview with the New York Times, Dan Fallows explained the reasoning behind Aston’s high-risk development strategy:

“Towards the end of the season, we used some races essentially as glorified test sessions in many ways,” Speedcafe quotes him as saying.

The British engineer then explained that this approach “was necessary to understand the car” and correct the team’s path for 2024.

Considering Red Bull’s advantage over the rest, Team Silverstone cannot be scolded for going bold. After all, Formula 1 is becoming increasingly competitive as concepts and philosophies converge.

In response to a question about replicating Aston’s progress between 2022-2023, Fallows didn’t shy away from the prospect:

“It’s absolutely possible. 

“We’ve seen with what we did at the beginning of the season that there are still opportunities to make a big step forward.

“But it’s a relative game. It depends on what other people are doing.

“For us, the most important thing is that we’re making that big step forward. We have our internal targets.”

Fallow’s comments are slightly more optimistic than Mike Krack’s most recent post-season comments. Still, it is normal for a team principal to downplay their team’s chances over the winter break.

There is no doubt that 2023 was a huge year for Aston Martin for both positive and negative reasons.

However, their pace in 2024 will dictate if this year was a stepping stone in their journey to the front – or a frustrating reminder of what could have been.