While many teams are already looking at next year, Aston Martin ambassador Pedro de la Rosa says they are keeping some of their focus on improving their current car – which in turn will help them in the future.
Aston Martin have slipped away from the front of the field in recent races after a flying start to the season that saw them take six podiums through Fernando Alonso, but the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren have all clawed through the field to be at least on a par with the Silverstone-based team at different circuits, and even ahead of them.
They still remain third in the Constructors’ standings heading into the second half of the season, five points ahead of Ferrari, but they know there is work to be done to stay there.
Aston Martin: 2023 season is not ‘game over’ just yet
It’s normally around this time of year that the teams will look to prioritise development on their 2024 challengers, but with the regulations being relatively stable for next season, the work that goes into this season’s cars can hold relevance on next year’s cars.
Aston Martin can call themselves the most improved team compared to last season in terms of Constructors’ standing compared to last year already, having already more than trebled their points tally for the whole of 2022 with 10 races still to go in 2023.
While they have fallen away from contention compared to where they were at the start of the year, the team’s ambassador said they know the areas that need fixing in order to get back on terms with their rivals.
“We know why we were not as competitive in the last few races, so I just think we need to just continue developing our car like we’ve done all season, really not look too much at what other people are doing,” De la Rosa told the F1 Nation podcast.
“They’re doing a great job, but also we have done a fantastic job so far with six podiums. So let’s still understand that there is an incredible end of season, 10 races to go.
“We are in the middle of a development race, every team is, and we just have to wait and see, keep faith on what we have achieved so far, and let’s hope that no matter what happens, all of us, we get closer to Red Bull because I think what Formula 1 needs – is that everyone closes the gap.”
When pressed further on exactly has happened to see Aston Martin fall away from the front in recent races, the Spaniard was unable to put his finger on why – or would not give the game away – but added that he expects the team to keep pushing with the AMR23 for a little while yet.
“I’m not an engineer, but I speak with our team, with all our members, and I get this very positive feeling that they know exactly what’s going on,” he said.
“They know exactly where they have to focus on, and they’re focusing on [it], so I’m very relaxed.
“I want to congratulate other teams because they’ve done a fantastic job, but this is not game over.
“You know, it’s not like ‘ah, we are done, that’s it for the season.’ No way, we are still gradually improving our car.
“And it gives you this sense of peace when you know where the areas of improvement are, because when you focus on the areas that are not that critical, you might lose a bit of focus, but we know exactly where the improvement areas are, and we’re working flat out.
“So that’s why I’m so much looking forward to Zandvoort because obviously we had a pretty good result in Spa, with fifth from Fernando, and we are very close from the guys in front.
“It’s true that we are also very close from the guys behind, and that’s the beauty about Formula 1.
“But we have slipped back, I repeat other people possibly have done a better job than us in developing the car so far, but it will come.”