Aston Martin has been surrounded by plenty of noise in recent weeks, but the Brazil Sprint gives the team a positive boost.
Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin have been the subject of several headlines this week. From wild transfer speculation to an incident with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, there has been plenty to discuss at the British camp.
However, amidst all the noise, there are promising signs for the AMR23. After struggling for any performance last weekend in Mexico, upgrade concerns again emerged. After all, the team’s latest update package is their last chance to get back on track in 2023.
Not only is this significant for the next three rounds, but also next year. If the Silverstone-based team cannot understand their development direction before the season ends, they could enter the winter break on the back foot.
Thankfully for Mike Krack’s team, Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso qualified in 3rd and 4th for the Brazil GP. Though mixed conditions impacted Q3, Aston Martin’s pace took a clear step forward compared to recent weekends.
A poorly executed Sprint Shootout made points extremely difficult for the Aston duo yesterday. This wasn’t the main takeaway for the team, though, who were instead more interested in their race pace.
Strong comeback and race pace
Although Max Verstappen and Lando Norris were in a league of their own, Alonso and Stroll made considerable progress up the field. Considering most of their overtakes were on cars with DRS, this is very impressive.
Compared to the relatively underwhelming pace shown by Mercedes and Ferrari, Aston Martin looked relatively strong. Tyre degradation also seemed well-managed, a good sign that the AMR23 is re-discovering one of its early-season strengths.
Looking ahead to the Brazilian GP, there is a huge opportunity for Aston. Not only are significant points available, but the team can collect valuable data to confirm they are in the correct direction with their updates.
Since setting on track in practice 1, there has been a quiet sense of confidence from the team. After doing comparative running in the opening session, both drivers went on the same floor specification – rather than experimenting as in previous weeks.
Not only is this encouraging for the short-term, but it gives confidence that their approach for next season’s car won’t meet the same issues they encountered in mid-2023.