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Aston Martin F1 A Test of Mettle in 2024's Start

“Fifth Fastest, Aiming Higher” – Aston’s F1 Ambition

21/03/2024

Aston Martin F1 grapples with a challenging start to 2024, straddling the grid’s middle with high hopes for improvement as the Australian GP looms.

Aston Martin F1 has not started the 2024 season as strongly as their 2023 campaign. Currently, the team finds itself somewhat isolated on the grid: ranking as the fifth strongest team, decidedly behind McLaren and Mercedes F1, yet notably ahead of the other competitors.

With the Australian Grand Prix just around the corner, does team principal Mike Krack find this position satisfactory? How does one evaluate Aston Martin F1’s start to the season, which is neither disastrous nor spectacular? Is being the fifth strongest team sufficient?

“We’ve had a solid start to the season, scoring points in both races.”

“Some may compare our performance in the first two races to last year, when we achieved podiums, but it’s important to remember that some of our rivals were not at their best at the start of 2023, and we capitalized on that.”

“By the end of last season, we were about the fifth fastest team, which more accurately reflected the hierarchy. After winter testing, this is where we expected to be at the start of this season. We are fifth in race pace and slightly faster in qualifying.”

“In Bahrain, we achieved the maximum result given the car’s pace. In Saudi Arabia, we performed slightly above expectations, thanks to Fernando’s fantastic driving, allowing us to finish in the top five.”

“13 points from the first two Grand Prix is a good result. We have several developments in the pipeline, and everyone is working well, both on the track and at the AMR campus.”

Mike Krack notes that compared to the same time last year, Aston Martin F1 has made significant performance gains. However, in F1, performance comparisons must always be relative.

“The first two races of the season have confirmed we’ve taken a step forward from last year.”

“For instance, in Bahrain’s qualifying, we were seven tenths faster than the previous year, and in Jeddah, we were nine tenths faster.”

“We’re constantly learning – getting to know our AMR24 better. It’s a fast car, especially in qualifying, and in recent weeks, we’ve been working to improve the balance so that Lance and Fernando can extract even more performance.”

Will Aston Martin F1 remain the fifth force in Melbourne?

Mike Krack confirms that developments for Aston Martin F1 are on the way, starting with Melbourne this weekend.

“Our aim is to close the gap to the front-runners; we are making progress and have some minor developments for Melbourne, which are part of our continuous development plan throughout the season.”

To make a difference, Aston Martin F1 can also rely on strategy, and this weekend, Pirelli is bringing its softest tires – one step softer than last year. What impact will this have on the race in Melbourne?

“Typically, the Australian Grand Prix involves just one pit stop, but Pirelli has brought softer tires this year to potentially shift strategies towards two stops.”

“Simulations suggest that a single stop is likely still the optimal strategy, but the Australian Grand Prix has been unpredictable over the years. There’s a good chance of a safety car, and you have to be ready to react and adapt your strategy accordingly.”

So, what is Mike Krack’s objective for this weekend in Melbourne? At the very least, a double points finish?

“The goal is to pick up where we left off in Jeddah. Qualifying will be important here, along with good tire management.”

“The Albert Park circuit is more similar to Jeddah than to Bahrain in terms of characteristics, but that doesn’t mean we’ll finish fifth again – Fernando put in a mega performance to achieve that result in Saudi Arabia.”

“We need to stay grounded and focused. Our aim is to finish with both cars in the points.”

Aston Martin F1 A Test of Mettle in 2024’s Start. Aston Martin F1 A Test of Mettle in 2024’s Start

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