Aston Martin are going into the new season confident last season’s dominant champions Red Bull can be caught.
The Silverstone-based team stunned Formula 1 with its progress at the beginning of last year. Having ended 2022 seventh in the constructors’ championship, Aston Martin began last season as the closest rivals to Red Bull, scoring a string of podium finishes.
But while Red Bull stamped their authority all over the championship, winning 21 of the 22 grands prix, Aston Martin faltered at mid-season and fell to fifth place in the final standings. Nonetheless they are confident they can make gains on Red Bull again this year as they and other teams adopt the champions’ design solutions into their cars.
“When you have a team that’s doing as well as Red Bull have done since 2022, it’s inevitable that there will be some kind of convergence on their solutions,” said technical director Dan Fallow, who joined Aston Martin from Red Bull in 2022.
“With the regulations that we have now, it is not particularly easy to have cars that are visually very different,” he told media including RaceFans yesterday. “So it’s inevitable, I think, that we would see some of that convergence.”
The gap between Red Bull and their rivals was already beginning to narrow towards the end of 2023, Fallows believes.
“People are getting very close and I think that suggests that people are probably less able to take a big conceptual step away from the kind of things that we’re seeing on the majority of cars,” he said.
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Aston Martin are “really into finding lap times from things that are smaller details, the more detailed elements of the floor and other parts of the car,” he explained.
“But there’s still a lot of lap time to come and we take the approach that Red Bull are absolutely beatable. That’s what we’re chasing after. We’re focusing on them and that’s what we’re aiming for.”
Last year Aston Martin found the performance of their car varied too much from track to track. One objective for the AMR24 was therefore to make it more adaptable to the range of venues it will tackle.
“We talk about Red Bull because obviously they are the benchmark in terms of performance,” Fallows explained. “But really for us, whoever’s got the fastest car is the focus for us and that’s what we’re looking at.
“Rather than thinking about individual races…