Aston Martin thought F1 2023 car gains were a 'mistake'

Aston Martin initially believed they had made a mistake when their much-improved 2023 F1 car exceeded the targets set by the team over the winter.
Aston Martin thought F1 2023 car gains were a 'mistake'

The Silverstone-based outfit’s incredible transformation has been one of the biggest stories of F1 2023 as Fernando Alonso claimed a stunning podium at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix to back up Aston Martin’s early promise in pre-season testing. 

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Aston Martin had the second-fastest car in Bahrain behind the dominant Red Bulls, with Alonso beating Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes in a straight fight to take third spot on the podium. 

Teammate Lance Stroll split the Mercedes with a strong drive to sixth place despite nursing injuries sustained in a bike accident that sidelined him from taking part in testing. 

Aston Martin made by far the biggest improvement over the winter and even surprised themselves, with one engineer admitting the team thought their data was faulty due to the size of their gains. 

"We wanted to be better than last year's Red Bull in all areas with the AMR23," the engineer told Auto Motor und Sport. 

“We worked with values determined from the GPS data. When we actually exceeded these targets, we initially thought that we must have made a mistake.”

Aston Martin thought F1 2023 car gains were a 'mistake'

The remarkable turnaround has seen Aston Martin go from lower midfield runner to emerging as potentially Red Bull’s closest challenger this year. 

Aston Martin believe they have a “good baseline” to aid their development of the AMR23 throughout the rest of the season. 

“In a cost cap environment, you need to start with a good baseline because you cannot afford to spend what you have available on just on developing,” team principal Mike Krack said. 

“I think this is something that is also why we went aggressive in the targets that we had for that car.

“Obviously it’s not always easy to achieve, but our team has managed to achieve great things there, and it’s much, much easier to develop from this base than to develop from the base we had last year.”

Krack added: “I think last year, we managed to get better over the season, but we saw also how hard that is in terms of, because of the intensity that you have with racing and cost cap, you are really tight. I think we have our development plan, and this is independent of Red Bull.

“We have a plan in place, but the others have a plan in place as well. It could well be that if you develop at the same rate, you stay where you are. Let’s see where we get to.”

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