Aston Martin Technical Director Tom McCullough says the team’s primary objective for next year is to build a Formula 1 car that is more aerodynamically efficient.
The Silverstone-based side began the year in resurgent shape with a hugely redeveloped car, registering six podium finishes across the opening eight races of the season.
However, Aston Martin’s competitiveness waned beyond the Canadian Grand Prix, with “side effects” from upgrades to its AMR23 responsible for its sudden regression.
Although Fernando Alonso returned to the rostrum at Zandvoort after the summer break, Aston Martin struggled considerably at the low-downforce Monza circuit last weekend, leaving the Spaniard, who trundled home ninth, to call for improvements.
McCullough asserts that while Aston Martin has bridged its straight-line speed deficit throughout the year, it remains a vital area that must be improved on next year’s car.
“Fernando [Alonso] touched on the efficiency of the car,” he said via Speedcafe.
“It’s an area where, at the start of the year, we were definitely one of the slower cars in a straight line.
“We worked on that with the base car and also the rear wing levels that we brought [to Monza].
“It is an area of improvement, it’s an area we need to do more for next year.”
Lance Stroll (CDN) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR23. 02.09.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 15, Italian Grand Prix, Monza, Italy, Qualifying Day.
Meanwhile, Lance Stroll’s weekend was compromised from the outset, having sat out FP1 before only managing to complete three laps in FP2 when his car ground to a halt.
The Canadian eventually wound up with the slowest time of all in qualifying, lamenting that he was struggling for outright grip on every single run he did on low fuel.
Expanding on the troubles Aston Martin encountered throughout the Monza weekend, McCullough explains that sacrificing cornering performance for increased top-end speed provides a tough compromise for the teams.
“To be fast in the highspeed, grip limited corners is really important because nearly all of them, the second Lesmo, Ascari, the Parabolica, have got very long straights after them,” he explained.
“So you’re always trading speed through those corners versus your raceabilty and straight-line speed.
“I think [that] these generation of cars and characteristics of people’s cars has led to a bit of a difference in rear wing philosophy but it’s largely as we expected.”
However, McCullough insists that Aston Martin is striving to ensure it begins next year with a package that is considerably more efficient than the AMR23.
“With the car we’ve got now, the main architecture of the car, the whole more than just the rear wings are the areas that we work on,” he summarised.
“A lot of elements actually influence the aero efficiency of the car and from now to the end of the season, most of the tracks are not the higher efficiency tracks.
“Our focus is really on AMR24 to make sure that, as we’re developing that care, we’re developing it as efficiently as we can do, and more efficient really than this year’s car.”
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