Formula 1 Racing

RaceFans Round-up: Aston Martin took “wrong direction”

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, Silverstone, 2024

In the round-up: Lance Stroll admits Aston Martin’s development programme hasn’t gone to plan since their strong start to last season.

In brief

Aston Martin took “wrong direction” – Stroll

Aston Martin scored 68 points over the first half of this year – little more than a third of what they managed over the first 12 rounds of last season. “We were there beginning of last year,” Stroll told media including RaceFans last weekend. “I don’t think we were totally there, we were not in position to win races last year, but we had a quick car and some podiums and a lot of top fives and stuff.”

The team began to slip backwards in the second half of last year and have fallen behind the top four teams into the midfield. “I think ultimately we took a bit of a wrong direction in terms of development philosophy,” said Stroll. “We went down the wrong path and we’ve slowly been realising that more and more. Now it’s a matter of changing path and then giving it time to develop and get good again by going down that different path.”

The team enjoyed a better results at Silverstone when Stroll and team mate Fernando Alonso finished seventh and eighth respectively. Stroll believes they are now beginning to understand where they went wrong.

“We’ve done a lot of exploring and a lot of aero testing over the last 12 months,” he said. “Every upgrade we’ve brought, we haven’t seen the benefit that we were hoping to see over the last year. I think we’ve learned a lot and now we’re really just trying to execute, fix the problem and make the car a lot faster.”

Norris, Bearman and Sargeant test at Silverstone

Pirelli was able to complete some dry-weather running in the second and final day of its tyre test at Silverstone, where three F1 teams ran cars. McLaren’s Lando Norris, Haas reserve driver Oliver Bearman and Williams’ Logan Sargeant covered a total of 273 laps, using the two wet weather specifications in the morning before finally getting to run the slick tyres Pirelli hoped to evaluate in the afternoon.

“Unfortunately, bad weather meant we were unable to complete the programme we had planned for the slicks, focusing specifically on assessing compounds for use on very severe tracks like Silverstone,” said Pirelli’s motorsport director Mario Isola. Bearman set the pace with a 1’29.481, Norris lapped in 1’30.987 and Sargeant’s best was a 1’32.161.

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