Aston Martin has been especially vulnerable this year in permanent circuits of long curves and high speed. And after that Fernando Alonso limited the damage at Suzuka with an eighth place finish, the British team bosses warn that it will also will have to suffer in Qatar.
Alonso defends his fourth place in the World Cup, when Checo Pérez’s second came to haunt in the first half of the season. After a surprising start to the season, where Aston Martin managed to position itself as the alternative to Red Bull’s dominance, the performance of the AMR23 has plummeted and the team is now fourth overall, with McLaren, 49 points behind, threatening with the ‘sorpasso’ in the absence of six grand prizes.
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Tom McCullough, Aston Martin’s performance director, is confident that “we can be more competitive than in Japan”, but he is realistic and knows that “the cars that are faster in fast corners will also be faster in Qatar.” Facing the intense outcome of the World Cupassures that “we will still have some parts that will help us understand and develop this car”, although any improvement will serve as “learning” for the 2024 car.
It is evident that they have thrown in the towel: “There are definitely some teams that at the beginning of the year were underperforming, they were a step behind, but we knew they would be back on top, especially McLaren and Mercedes. We were a little surprised to be the second fastest team, but The margins between the second, third and fourth teams were always very small. We were always aware that it doesn’t take much to fall to the back of that pack. Some teams have done a stronger job and we have to accept it” McCullough assumes.
For his part, the boss of the Silverstone team, Mike Krack, recognizes that if they intend to end the season with morale intact “we must be more competitive and do a better job for Lance and Fernando. In Japan Lance was forced to park the car with the rear wing problem, while Fernando added four points. To be honest, that’s not the level we expect from ourselves. We need to keep our heads down and keep fighting,” he says.
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“Continuous evolution has been our philosophy throughout the year. There are still some updates in the works that will appear on the car until Abu Dhabi and with the stable regulations for next year these developments will be incorporated into the new car. So we won’t take our foot off the gas at all. We will continue to push and we want to finish the season strong,” explains Mike Krack.
His reading, often positive, does not seem so for the two races of the weekend in Qatar: “On this circuit there are a variety of medium and high speed corners, similar in many ways to Suzuka, so we can hope for luck similar, with sincerity,” he assumes. “We will take the lessons of Singapore and Japan to try to take a step forward. We all have to work hard if we want to change course,” he closes her.