The Silverstone-based team of Aston Martin started off strong in the 2023 season, emerging as the closest competitor to Red Bull after securing six podium finishes in the first eight races. However, following a second-place finish by Fernando Alonso in Canada, the team seems to have drifted into the middle of the pack as other teams like McLaren, Mercedes, and Ferrari have made significant strides.
Interestingly, a change has been noticed in the team’s performance profile. What was once a stronghold in low-speed corners at the beginning of the season seems to have disappeared, causing Aston Martin to fall from its position as a main competitor to Red Bull on slower circuits.
Over the Hungary weekend, Alonso hinted that a potential reason could have been the change in tyre specification from the British GP. However, high-ranking members of the Aston Martin team remain doubtful.
Team principal Mike Krack, speaking before the Belgian GP, stated that an amalgamation of car upgrades and selected set-ups resulted in some unintended “side effects” for the AMR23. “The way we have developed the car, it’s very complex,” he articulated during an interview. “You change one thing, but you never change one thing and everything else is fine. You always have side effects when you make changes.”
Krack went on to admit that the team may have made wrong decisions in a few situations, regarding component use, that didn’t yield the expected results. The team had previously surmised that they might have veered off course but only fully realized this after the Hungarian GP.
“Oddly enough, Hungary was the final piece in the puzzle,” Krack stated. “We expected a much more competitive performance at the track, but it didn’t materialize. That was the final proof we needed to conclude that perhaps we had indeed drifted off the correct path.”
Krack revealed that his team at Aston Martin‘s Silverstone headquarters is now working on updates to counter the unexpected ramifications from their current development direction.
With new components in the pipeline for introduction in the upcoming races, Krack remains optimistic that these steps could help their team get back on track. “We’re extremely confident,” he asserted. “It did take us a few weeks to pinpoint the problems and validate them.”
On the topic of the altered tyre construction from the British GP, Krack dismissed any suggestions that might attribute this change to the team’s wavering competitiveness. “That would be a comfortable alibi, wouldn’t it?” he questioned. “We do acknowledge slight differences with these tyres, but they were introduced for safety reasons. Hence, it’s the same for everyone.” He maintained that this should not be used as an excuse for their performance and emphasized the importance of understanding them better and moving forward.