Aston Martin kicked off 2023 with an unexpected rise to podium contention after a disappointing seventh place finish in 2022. Fernando Alonso, who joined Aston Martin from Alpine, has notably secured six top-three finishes, though the team has since navigated through some challenging periods.
Powerhouses Mercedes and Ferrari clamped down on Aston Martin, while McLaren unveiled a notable vehicle upgrade to secure its spot in the competitive sphere. Aston Martin‘s recent alterations have also been called into question, following speculations that the team had to modify its front wing amid an FIA flexi-wing clampdown.
The culmination of these developments has forced Aston Martin to withdraw from the battle for second place with Mercedes, leaving it vulnerable to Ferrari‘s challenge for third. Ferrari is only five points behind as the latter half of the season commences this weekend on the Dutch dunes of Zandvoort.
Alonso expressed satisfaction with the team’s performance in the first half of 2023, describing it as “incredible”. However, he and team principal Krack acknowledged that the Lawrence Stroll-led team has huge strides to make before it can truly compete with the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari.
“We have a long way to go, we have only made one step,” Krack shared. Acknowledging the ups and downs inherent in the sport, Krack emphasized the need for the team to focus on self-improvement and progress, even when this might not immediately translate into higher rankings.
Significant to Aston Martin‘s 2023 bid is the Formula 1‘s aerodynamic testing restriction also known as ATR. The ATR either handicaps or bolsters teams by allocating wind tunnel time and CFD runs linked to the constructors’ championship, giving a boost to the lowest-placed teams in their pursuit of improvement.
For the second half of 2023, Aston Martin faces the challenge of living up to its reputation for efficiency – a reputation established during the Force India and Racing Point days. The team has made significant progress since Stroll’s takeover, not only in moving into a state-of-the-art Silverstone headquarters but also in attracting key talents from rival teams.
The journey to becoming a top-tier team in the long run lies in further optimizing and enhancing the team’s overall structure and methodologies, said Krack. Pointing out the need for realistic targets and seasoned guidance, Krack also highlighted the team’s pursuit of sustainable practices that are not solely reliant on expensive hires.
Krack acknowledged that there is “no miracle” solution to surpass the leading Red Bull team. Instead, he suggested that the focus should be on identifying incremental improvements across all departments. Despite Red Bull‘s burgeoning success, Krack expressed a resolve to disrupt as much as they can.