As the Silverstone-based squad revealed its new AMR24 car on Monday morning, it suggested that the closing up of the F1 grid provided a golden opportunity for someone to knock the world champions off the top step.
While Aston Martin’s technical director Dan Fallows suggested that success was now down to details, he reckoned there was still enough performance potential to allow someone to jump in front of Red Bull.
“People are getting very close and I think that suggests 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.
“The thing is we’re really into finding lap times now from things that are really smaller details. They’re kind of more detailed elements of the floor and other parts of the car.
“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.”
While Fallow’s thoughts on Red Bull are more about a mindset than him suggesting Aston Martin has a car right now to do it, he believes that something his team needs to prioritise this year is being more consistent and producing an aggressive development plan.
“We talk about Red Bull because, obviously, they are the benchmark in terms of performance, but really whoever’s the fastest car is the focus for us,” he said. “And that’s what we were looking at.
The Red Bull trophy delegate, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, 2nd position, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team, 3rd position, spray Champagne on the podium
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
“Rather than thinking about individual races, from an engineering point of view, we have to make a car that’s capable of operating at any circuit and being competitive. And that’s really what we’re focused on: making a car that’s usable, that’s good for the drivers.
“That’s what we’ve really been trying to sort of focus on. Those sort of competitive stats and how we get close to Red Bull will come after that. If we put that performance on the car, then we give ourselves the ability to compete at that level, which is exactly what we want.”
While Fallows is setting ambitious targets for the team, Fernando Alonso is a little bit more circumspect about how he sees things playing out over the 2024…