Aston Martin’s Tom McCullough has said lessons learned during 2022 are resulting in a ‘very different’ approach to their 2023 F1 car.
Lessons learned from the development of the 2022 Aston Martin AMR22 F1 car are resulting in a ‘very different’ ’23 car being developed by the British team.
The newly introduced ground effect regulations for 2022 saw the Aston Martin team take a big step backward in performance as the season began, but steady development throughout the year saw Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll become regular points finishers by the conclusion of the championship.
Finishing seventh in the championship, their momentum was such by Abu Dhabi that their car became a challenger to the likes of the McLaren and the Alpine, who finished in fourth and fifth respectively, and was clearly quicker than Alfa Romeo’s C42 even if the Hinwil team finished in sixth overall.
With Aston Martin’s performances in the second half of the season taking a significant step forward, coinciding with the introduction of Technical Directive 039 which targeted the designs of the car floors in a bid to reduce porpoising, technical director Tom McCullough said the TD had had little effect on Aston Martin’s performance.
“I think, for us, [the TD] maybe affected some of the other teams but that didn’t really have an impact on our operating the car,” he told PlanetF1 over the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend.
“We actually brought quite large floor updates to several events. Obviously, Singapore was the final one, but we had one in Paul Ricard as well as Silverstone.
“Actually, some of our updates, the ones that look physically smaller, have actually produced the most performance as well.
“So, for us, it’s just been about, ‘right, we’re here, how do we just keep developing on this car?'”
McCullough went on to explain that the development on the AMR22 resulted in strong correlation between simulated wind tunnel findings and the reality once the developed parts were fitted to the car – particularly important as the F1 budget cap tightened its grip following its introduction in 2021.
“The bits that we’ve brought from the wind tunnel to the track, have actually largely all done what they should have been doing,” he said.
“Which was just, all the time, giving us a bit more performance but also a bit wider operating window on the car.
“Ultimately, the cost cap is quite a key thing there. The  car we have in the wind tunnel at the moment is very different to the one we’ve got now.”
Pressed for further details of what lessons the team have learned and whether there will be significant differences to the team’s design concept for next season, McCullough laughed: “I can’t tell you that!
“There are some philosophies that are still the same, some that are different. So, overall, we’re hoping to have a faster car. Without the cost cap, you’d have seen more of those updates during the year.
“We’re still running around on the launch nose and front wing philosophy largely. A lot of that would normally have changed during a normal year, but you just can’t afford to do that on such big expensive parts [under the budget cap].”