Formula 1 Racing

Is F1 2024’s split between the top and bottom five teams over?

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR24

The early running in 2024 seemed to indicate a relatively clear pecking order. Red Bull is on top, followed by Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren. Aston Martin was the clear fifth-best team, not quite able to hang with the rest of the top five on race pace, but still easily clear of RB and Haas.

Fernando Alonso’s heroics in qualifying saw him start on the front three rows four times over the first five grands prix, before falling back to his natural position during the race, while RB and Haas were scrapping over the final few points.

There was a running joke that the last point for 10th position would go to whoever beats the last of the Astons, which even led to discussions over expanding the points positions to the top 12 or even beyond.

That always seemed a permanent solution to a temporary problem ahead of a drastic 2026 regulations shift that will likely blow the grid wide open.

But nothing ever stays the same in F1’s relentless development race, which has already consigned this perceived 50/50 split of the grid as a thing of the past.

And while Ferrari and McLaren made strides to close the gap to Red Bull and relegate Mercedes to fourth, Aston Martin has slowly but surely fallen behind, into the clutches of Red Bull’s second team.

RB’s first round of upgrades, which it managed to introduce in Miami, one race earlier than planned, has triggered a change of picture.

Since round six, the team’s quicker driver so far – Yuki Tsunoda – has consistently out-qualified the best Aston, which through various circumstances has been Lance Stroll since then.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR24

Photo by: Erik Junius

We haven’t included sprint results in the below table, but it is also worth highlighting Daniel Ricciardo’s fourth place in the Miami sprint, from the same grid position.

Aston Martin responded with its own upgrade package in Imola but had to concede they weren’t sufficient to keep up with the improvements made by some of its rivals, and they didn’t necessarily help make the AMR24 easier to drive and keep balanced either.

Tsunoda has reduced his gap to pole from an average of 1.1 seconds until China to seven-tenths over the past three races, while Aston’s gap to Max Verstappen – and Charles Leclerc in Monaco – has largely doubled.

Race Aston best grid position Gap to pole RB best grid postion Gap to pole

Aston points


RB points


Bahrain 6 0.363 11 0.950 3 0
Saudi 4 0.374 9 1.075 10 0
Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at – Formula 1 – Stories…