In the last term, Aston Martin became an unexpectedly strong contender on the track when they finished seventh in the standings last season. The team emerged from obscurity and troubled even the renowned team of Red Bull. However, out of the five major racing seasons that followed, an Aston Martin driver has only once again managed to place in the top three positions. In disrupting a rhythm of somewhat mediocre performances (two sevenths, a ninth and fifth-place finish) Fernando Alonso‘s second place standing in Canada came as a refreshing surprise to his dedicated fans.
Earlier in the season, the Silverstone-based squad led Mercedes in points until Spain, but has since fallen precipitously into third place, trailing a distressing 39 points behind the iconic Silver Arrows. The lack of pace from Ferrari along with questionable strategy calls and pitstop execution has relieved some of the consequent pressure from behind.
Despite relatively falling off, anyone within Aston Martin would vehemently affirm that a string of 11 points-scoring results from the prior year’s end has been a significant triumph. Aston’s noteworthy successes this season took spectators and fellow competitors by surprise, functioning well above the performance level of the previous season.
Although a considerable drop-off was anticipated in Aston Martin‘s performance at the Hungarian Grand Prix last weekend, both internal and external eyes were pleased to find the results stabilized. The expectations of a low-speed circuit suited well to AMR23’s strong downforce and mechanical grip, consequently lessening its straight-line efficiency weaknesses; however, Alonso led Lance Stroll for an unremarkable ninth and tenth place finish.
Alonso voiced out in Silverstone his perspective of the necessity for team Aston Martin to refresh and regroup during the summer break. The unexpected fifth fastest speed achieved by Aston Martin, as revealed in Budapest, left him in perplexed musings. Alonso admits, “It’s hard for us to understand a bit better what the car is doing now compared to the beginning of the season and then understanding the new tyres the best. They’re the same for everybody, so we just need to do a better job.”
According to Performance Director Tom McCullough, there aren’t significant changes in Aston Martin’s performance. He pithily rebuffs Alonso‘s claims that the Pirelli tire build introduced prior to the British Grand Prix has caused any inconveniences to the team.”
Senior officials within the team have reasoned that the competitive edge of the current field, rather than a team failure, has led to the unexpected performance of Aston Martin. They contend that Aston Martin has not diminished even slightly in competitiveness, adding that it might even be level with Red Bull especially when considering the varying schedules of teams introducing upgrade packages.
Mike Krack, team principal explains, “With how dense the grid is these days, any mistakes cost you a couple of positions… It really depends on you executing everything 100%. This point is evident in the reality that Alonso lost time at two corners during Q3 in Hungary.
Krack concludes on an optimistic note, “The development race is on flat-out. You need to keep up. We need to be aware that some teams have done a good job also in the meantime. This is typical for F1. You have to be humble about it and realistic where you are. Not being disappointed or overexcited.”