Despite the logistics involved in the remaining flyaway races, Aston Marton will have ongoing updates for their AMR23 as the pride and prize-money for second place in the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship is now at stake.
Second place alas, as rampant Red Bull have all but claimed the 2023 F1 Constructors’ World Championship as has Max Verstappen with the Drivers’ title. Leaving Aston Martin, Ferrari and Mercedes to fight for the runner-up slot and that is likely to go to the final round in Abu Dhabi.
As F1 jets into Singapore for the night race weekend, the battle for second place in the F1 team standings is tight. Mercedes are on 273 points, with Ferrari on 228 and Aston Martin eleven points behind that, with McLaren gathering a head of steam with an increasingly competitive car on 115, not quite in the reckoning just yet.
Thus Aston Martin have reason to continue developing their car, which Performance Director Tom McCullough revealed is an ongoing process: “We’ve been on the same development path for 18 months.
“Those philosophies haven’t really changed; we’re still bringing parts to the track between now and the end of the year. A lot of parts have been released a while back and by the time we get to the track, more come along.
“Even though the European leg of the season has finished, we’re still bringing parts to the car. It’s not as easy to bring those parts to the track for flyaway races and we have to account for delivery time, but we will have late freight that arrives to the track all the way until Friday morning.
“Sometimes spares of updated parts arrive even later than that. It can be a real logistical challenge and some countries are harder to deliver to than others, but it’s all well planned for,” explained McCullough.
Alonso has scored the bulk of the points and seven podiums for Aston Martin
As for the goal for the remaining eight races, he said: “The target is to try to get back to second in the Constructors’ Championship. That’s a brave target, against some fierce competition.
“Mercedes have had a couple of strong events. Ferrari had their strongest event of the year at Monza, their home race; we’re hoping to be more competitive as we return to some of the higher-downforce tracks going forward.
“Margins are fine at this stage of the season and now it comes down to who can bring a few more developments to the track and who can execute the best weekends – operationally, and from the drivers’ side as well.”
Reflecting on the team’s resurgence, with Fernando Alonso on board and a competitive car, McCullough added: “Scoring points 16 times in a row is a difficult thing to do – it’s easy to underestimate just how hard this is.
“The bottom line is that we’re fighting against well-established teams, and we’re still in our growth period – both in terms of our Technology Campus and in terms of hiring personnel. So there’s a lot happening here.
“To finish first, first you have to finish, and reliability has been a strength of the team so far. Our scoring streak speaks to the execution of the team, Lance and Fernando; when the margins are so small in the hunt for points, it takes a significant effort to turn the tables.”
Notably, a rejuvenated and fired-up Alonso has scored 170 of the team’s 217 points and at 42 is driving as well as he ever has tempered with the wisdom of experience while utterly destorying Lance Stroll in the sister Aston Martin.
In contrast, the Canadian, 18 years the Spaniard’s junior, is having a torrid season. Apparently learning little from the legend in the garage beside him, while driving with apparently little ambition, with no accountability as if the Aston Martin team belongs to his father… Oh, it does! Enough said.